Reasons to vote no on room tax

There are many reasons to vote against the room tax increase. A few of the reasons for a no vote follow.

Tax increases raise costs, which reduces demand. It is possible that revenue following the increase will drop below current levels.

The use of the tax to promote tourism, to favor a particular type of business, is a particularly abhorrent aspect of the proposed tax increase. It isn’t the place of government to favor a particular sector of the economy by using tax dollars to promote it.

Using tax money to promote tourism serves to increase the dependence of Central Oregon on a type of business that is insubstantial, produces seasonal, minimum-wage jobs and that is, ultimately, transitory in a way that agriculture, mining and forest products are not.

Tourism is a luxury item. It is one of the first items dispensed with when recessions occur. Tourism is subject to the vagaries of fashion. What individuals currently do for recreation, where they go for vacations, is very different now from what it was 100 years ago or even 50 years ago. Government using tax money to promote a particular business is bad enough.

What is worse is when it promotes a type of business that is ephemeral, that is a luxury that is influenced by fad and fashion, that yields little more than congestion and minimum-wage jobs.

John Driscoll

Bend