Election letter: No on Safety tax

July 16, 2014 

Here we go again, another run at our sales tax. As with the other ill-fated measures (the aquatic center and the convention center), the argument is that it's only pennies on a $10 purchase. The implication is we'd be foolish to say we can't afford to chip in.

The Herald's editorial board even said the beauty of a sales tax is that people from outside the county will help pay for it. Now, I've heard sales taxes called many names, but "beauty" certainly wasn't one of them. We can't count on those outsiders because an equal number of our residents likely shop in other counties -- so it pretty much evens out.

But let's look at those "few pennies" another way. The proponents say the tax increase would raise $9 million annually. Divided by 180,000 people who live in Benton County (not the number of households, which dilutes the effect) it comes to $50 from every man, woman and child. That's $100 per couple, $150 for a family of three and so on.

While the tax is for a good purpose, my wife and I can't afford to take a hundred bucks out of our grocery budget for the next 10 years.

BOB DOWLE, Kennewick

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