In his Dec. 4 opinion column, “Gerrymandering? No, it’s sovereignty,” John Laird admonishes his friend from Amboy for complaining about the new sales tax increase to support C-Tran’s operating budget, and the fact that the friend did not get a chance to vote on the new tax, as he lives outside the C-Tran service district. Laird’s rather smug answer is “jurisdictional sovereignty,” and that his friend has two choices: either “shut up and accept it” (that is, pay the new sales tax every time he shops in Vancouver), or move into the C-Tran service district and become a voter.
Well, there is actually a third choice that Laird conveniently forgets or doesn’t want to mention: His friend can simply shop elsewhere, and say “get lost” to C-Tran and Vancouver merchants. That’s what I call “consumer sovereignty.” While I would never advocate any Washingtonian shopping there, I know of a place not too far from here where the sales tax rate is zero. I’m wondering if C-Tran’s board factored that into their revenue calculations?