Letter to Editor: Tax Measures
I urge Newport voters to support the two tax measures on the November ballot. As a Newport City Councilor, I worked on the budget committee. It was a long and arduous process to hammer out cuts. We offer two modest tax proposals to bring our budget into balance with the help of visitor’s dollars. The five cent a gallon gas tax is specifically for road maintenance. The 5% restaurant and beverage tax (with the option to expire or renew in five years) has specific funding targets. These are found on the city website Newportoregon.gov
Newport is blessed with a wonderful problem – tourism. This industry forms a strong leg of our economic base yet incurs great cost to city facilities. Our town of 10,000 grows by at least 20,000 not only in the summer, but also other times throughout the year. Your city is obligated to provide and to pay for roads, safety (police and fire,) and maintenance of our facilities for locals and visitors alike.
Tourism continues strong in Ashland and Yachats where restaurants remain busy year round. Diners are not deterred by the 5% food and beverage tax.
Citizen interest is welcome in the city budget process. Ask yourself how the budget should be balanced. Committee members considered what should not be continually deferred – such as public facilities and road maintenance. Newport’s police and fire departments must be fully staffed for both locals and tourists. Especially in the summer, there are higher demands for adequate sewage and water treatment, plus plentiful water for our industries.
Your City Council has endeavored to inform the voters to gain support of these two tax measures for the good of your city. Please vote YES.