Room-tax increase counterproductive

I voted no on the two measures that would raise taxes on our tourist guests.

It seems to me that this is counterproductive thinking. We need tourism to keep our economy strong, and then we raise the taxes on those coming? Even one of the measure explanations says, “This could result in a decrease in tourism.” Duh!

Here’s an alternative idea: Lower taxes on our guests and then publicize that we are one of the few places in the world that has lowered taxes on visitors. The reason is that “we want you to come here and enjoy beautiful Central Oregon along with us, so we lowered our taxes on our lodging.” (Or we didn’t raise our taxes — so please come!)

That would be some very good tourism advertising for us. It might even get more mileage (money) than the proposition to raise taxes for the purpose of doing more tourism advertising. The proposition approach communicates, “We need more money to inform you to come and enjoy Central Oregon. And by the way, we are going to charge you more for telling you that!”

Most likely we will get more visitors. And most likely we will get more tax dollar revenue on the lower taxes we instituted. And if this strategy doesn’t work and I’m wrong, then we can still have a ballot measure in a couple of years to raise the tax.

David Grissen

Bend