I opened the brochure from the city of Newport trying to justify passing two tax levies in November, the gas tax and a prepared food tax. The city is grasping at straws for reasons to justify these two taxes.

I was on the city council when the recreation center was passed. We were guaranteed at the time that it would pay for itself in five years. Some of us found humor in that but it passed anyway. The senior center uses the excuse of Meals on Wheels — a good program but it is a county problem and should be turned over to the county. The baby boomers do not see themselves as seniors, and assisted living centers provide the same services. The performing art center is not the same since Chinook Winds opened. These facilities are not used by the city masses but for the few.

The restaurant tax is ludicrous. Kick them while they are down. No plastic bags, no Styrofoam, no plastic silverware, etc. and now this? We have to run our businesses and hopefully make a profit. The city needs to be run like any other private business. If you can’t afford it, you can’t get it. If you want it, you have to save the money to get it. There are just things you have to charge more for (rec center, visual arts, performing arts etc.) or privatize them. Make them a user-pay system.

I will be voting no. COVID has been hard enough on the people and businesses of Newport. This is way too soon and not enough dialog. Dealing with the homeless, unable to get employees, having to close due to no one to work for you or employees coming down with COVID — it is not the time to add a financial burden of a 5 cent gas tax or a 5 percent restaurant tax.

Please stand with me and vote no, and thank you for supporting your local businesses.

Peggy Sabanskas


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