Ontario readers offer their opinions on the 1 percent tax vote

Stop the waste, listen to ideas

To the Editor:

Ontario leaders claim there is no ‘fluff’ to cut. Granted, they are not in a position to know where the waste is. However, the department heads are, so why not use the most logical of ideas. Other leaders use this method, its simple. A few years ago, county officials told all department heads to cut their budget by 10 percent. They did this two years in a row. Guess what, it worked.

Many money-saving recommendations were made in the Police Study, as well as the Fire Study; none were followed. The City recently paid $170,000 for a mini dump truck – decisions like these are not defendable. These are only a few examples. 

City officials say no one comes forward with ideas. This is simply untrue. What is true is that these officials seem not to be open to conservative ideas, or maybe they are just hard of listening.

Jackson Q. Fox


A penny to make difference

To the Editor:

My opinion is to vote YES for the 1 percent sales tax. We have an investment at stake here and it sure is worth much more than 1 cent on a dollar! 

Municipalities all over Oregon, much less the country, are seeing incredibly huge increases in the cost of maintaining and repairing our infrastructure, much less all the union pressures on public employees. If this 1 cent can stave off a portion of those increasing costs and at least maintain a stable property value and ‘intrinsic’ community value, well then it is worth it! And I sure cannot see the burden placed solely on the shoulders of the Ontario property owners, they are paying a lot already.

Douglas Dean 


City’s remarks raise concerns

To the Editor:

Set your emotions aside and consider the implementation and promises of this tax. Will the Ontario “trust tax” really work? No, probably not. 

At the most recent 1 percent tax meeting at the Ontario Middle School, city manager Adam Brown stated that the tax would be on a trust basis for businesses to report quarterly to the city. He and Mayor Ron Verini weren’t completely certain what services would or would not fall victim to the tax. There was a possibility the city could outsource the assessor. 

This is documented, see for yourself. These remarks are cause for great concern. 

The request to beef up our police force cannot all be caused by “nonresidents” coming into Ontario during their shopping trips for groceries and wares. Prior to the opening of the prison in 1991, citizens opposing the prison were concerned crime rates would climb. Could this be the cause? If so, it is no fault of “nonresidents.” 

To the Citizen for A Better Ontario, please pause: Just because small businesses are questioning the intentions and promises for the 1 percent doesn’t mean we are anti-Ontario and anti-quality of living. That is brazen “yes” propaganda. 

The “yes” leaders want us to think of “nonresidents” as the problem and the solution. Tax the outsiders that spend their money in our community and not their own. That is poor customer service 101. 

Gratitude and thanks to all those travelling to Ontario to support our jobs, services, and shopping pattern. 

Emily Chase Oregon Natural Market


Bikes get double taxed 

To the Editor:

At Eastern Oregon Cycles, we feel a 1 percent tax will not be beneficial and here are a few key reasons why. 

Customers will pay two taxes when purchasing a new bicycle over $200, the state mandated Oregon Bike Tax and Ontario’s 1 percent. 

A 1 percent tax will elevate the burden and overall cost for all individuals and especially low-income customers whose bikes generally require a higher cost of maintenance. The 1 percent tax will also make it harder for EOC to stay competitive with our pricing against the Internet which is known to crash profit margins. 

So I ask, how is it fair for the City of Ontario to place its problems on its businesses, citizens, and customers? If Ontario is truly looking to increase the quality of life and recreational needs for its citizens from part of the 1 percent sales tax, then why is there just over $100K still sitting in a reserve fund dating back to at least 2015 that is specifically reserved for city trails and paths?

Adding a 1 percent tax to this community will likely deflate this city faster than goatheads can deflate a bicycle tube. The Ontario City Council needs to wake up and figure out other ways along with its citizens to deal with the issues presented instead of spearing a 1 percent tax into this community like a dagger. 

Whatever the outcome, this city and its officials need to learn to work together for its citizens and patrons to arrive at a collectively positive outcome.

Joe Heinz Eastern Oregon Cycles