Gov. Chris Gregoire is asking for an increase to the sales tax rate as a means to stave off further budget cuts. It is no surprise that the state of Washington needs additional revenue. We cannot and should not balance the budget with cuts alone.
To me this means it is time to eliminate the sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers. Folks are not crossing the river in large numbers to shop in Clark County — they live here, they use our services and they send their kids to our schools. We all see the cars in Clark County with Oregon license plates and no doubt the owners of those cars have an Oregon driver’s license. They avoid not only the sales tax on their purchase but also the fees for licensing their car in Washington.
Enough is enough — if an increase to the sales tax rate is going to be discussed during this special session, then the exemption must be part of that same discussion. It is the only way I will ever support an increase and I do not believe I am alone in this.