The city of Tumwater is going down the wrong economic road with the proposed tax increase. Within the tri-city area, Tumwater is the smallest. The businesses, particularly those along Littlerock Road, have smaller inventories than the same stores in the other local cities. Raising the sales tax on goods and some services could do more to discourage sales than encourage.
City officials are banking on customer loyalty. Businesses like to compete. Consumers also like to compete. The smart phone generation likes to go price shopping online, then go shopping in their car. They like “a good deal.” The city says it’s only two cents on $10, but most people won’t pay five cents for a brown paper bag, so they’re diligent to bring their own bag.
If this proposition passes, people will just know the tax rate is higher in Tumwater. The last time Thurston County tried to raise the tax rate, it failed due to a lack of support from the business community. This may also make Tumwater a less desirable location for new businesses. While Tumwater claims to tighten their belt, the city owned and operated golf course prevails as a budget item though it is not a basic service for the citizens like roads.
Aside from raising taxes and vehicle tab fees is there a third choice? Concentrate more on protecting and appreciating our economic base and find a more sustainable way to provide road improvements. Belt not tight enough!