Barbershop is epicenter for talk – and dissent – on Ontario sales tax

By Pat Caldwell
The Enterprise
ONTARIO — Dan Moore set up his barbershop in Ontario because he liked the atmosphere of the town.
“It is the hub of the valley,” Moore, 32, said.
Moore, a former Weiser resident, turned on the barber pole at his one-chair Plaza Barbershop eight years ago. Over time and under the watchful eyes of a painting of a barber at work and a vintage photo poster of Marylyn Monroe, Moore built a steady customer base. Sporting a long beard and a self-avowed motorcycle enthusiast, Moore knows most of his customers and is often a silent but encouraging sounding board for comments, opinions and theories from locals. One topic has dominated talk at his shop lately — the city’s new 1 percent sales tax.
Moore said the sentiment against it runs deep.
“It’s pretty clear in here why it’s unpopular,” Moore said. Moore said he and others oppose the new city levy because Ontario residents didn’t vote it on.
“I’m against it because of the way they went about it,” said Moore.
Moore said one chief reason he opened his shop in Ontario was because it did not have a sales tax.
Moore said the sales tax may not hit him as hard as other businesses but will still make an impact on everyone.
“It will hurt Ontario,” said Moore.
Moore, who attended the anti-sales tax meeting in Ontario Thursday night, walked away with some signature petitions to hand out to put the tax before voters. Interest in the petitions is high, he said.
“I had people coming in not for haircuts but to sign the petitions,” said Moore. “Everyone is in full support and glad its being done.”
By late last week, he said, he turned in three signature sheets Listening to the talk of his patrons over time influenced Moore’s decision to oppose the levy.
“I heard more against it than for it,” said Moore.


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Have a news tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or 541-473-3377.