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Local Option Tax: Not Right Now

This is a hard time for many, and government needs to tighten its belt

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Local Option Tax: Not Right Now

The Local Option Tax of 1% for seven years is a totally inappropriate use of our taxpayer finances at this difficult time. The $13 million to be raised will go into City accounts, while the personal budgets of many taxpayers are already as lean as possible.

Burdened by business closures, job losses, record high housing prices, and rampant inflation, everyone’s income takes a hit if this newly finished 2020 Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Master Plan becomes a reality. Although worthy in a better economy, the recreation-centered plan for more parks, trails and waterfront projects is, right now, a luxury. It does not, right now, justify taxpayers squeezing more money from their budget.

In addition, as usual, more money is asked for than is needed. On the ballot projects list are the words “included but not limited to.” Seems like a parks project plus slush fund for whatever the mayor/council wants.

Isn’t it time we stop government from raiding our bank accounts for unspecified boondoggles?

Backers of the tax cite the possibility of more federal funds if we approve this local tax. These, of course, would also go into City coffers. This is a hard time for many, and government needs to tighten its belt to produce leaner budgets the same way taxpayers have been doing for a very long time.

We were not told the full truth about the previous Local Option Tax pushed through by this mayor. Let’s not be fooled again.

Joanna Fuchs
Sandpoint, Idaho

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