Clarkston may soon see an increase in its sales tax, and that has some local business owners concerned.Technorati Tags: wal-mart walmart
At Monday night's city council meeting, members read an ordinance they're considering implementing. The ordinance would impose an additional sales and use tax by 0.2 percent.
That would raise the tax to 7.4 percent, up from 7.2 percent.
Councilors tried to convey to a restless audience that they have looked at every other option. One such option was to cut back on city positions, but that wasn't possible. Councilor Terry Beadles said the city is operating on a bare minimum when it comes to staff.
But, some business owners weren't satisfied with the council's solution and voiced warnings of leaving the city and moving their businesses to Lewiston.
"Instead of raising taxes, I think what we need to do is figure out a way to get more businesses to come here," said Larry Ashton, owner of Mac's Cycle. "If a major store was to open up, Fred Meyer, think of all the taxes on dollars you would be receiving on that. It would probably make all your problems go away. So, an environment has to be created to encourage businesses to come here, not to leave."
"If you run the business across the river, you'll have less tax revenue to collect," said John Wasem of Wasem's Drugs.
"Sales tax definitely makes a difference, definitely," said Doug Schurman, of Schurman's True Value Hardware. "And, every time it inches up it causes that many more people to say, 'Well, I'll find it somewhere else.'"
If the ordinance is accepted by council, the tax increase would be imposed starting April 1 of next year.