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EDITORIAL: Ontario city officials should act before May tax vote

Results of the recent vote on health insurance should give Ontario city officials pause about the future of their sales tax. The city says it is in serious financial trouble, but matters could get worse.

In January, Oregon voters were asked to keep in place a tax on insurance companies, some hospitals and others to pay for medical insurance. While the measure passed in the state, Malheur County went solidly against it. Of local voters, 61 percent rejected the tax.

Remember, this is a tax someone else pays – at least on paper. And Malheur County voters still said no. That should be a strong signal to Ontario officials that their 1 percent sales tax is likely doomed.

The Ontario City Council last fall decided to impose the retail sales tax. Anyone buying bread or coffee in Ontario would have started paying that new tax at the start of the year . . .