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For Ontario’s John Scholtes, city sales tax proposal is the wrong answer

Ontario's John Scholtes shows off his garden. The 77-year-old Brogan native would rather be spending his time tending his flowers and trees but a belief that the city's proposed sales tax is wrong prompted Scholtes to write a four-page pamphlet against the levy. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

ONTARIO – John Scholtes’ backyard garden is a quiet place where pathways made of good Malheur County rock curve past a plum tree, shrubs, flowers, and a fountain.

And it seems a long way from the swirling community controversy around Ontario’s 1 percent sales tax.

But Scholtes is an example of how the city levy is stirring deep and wide conversations.

The sales tax debate began right after the Ontario City Council approved the tax in September.

The city said it . . .