I'm writing as president of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. The GVCC finds it concerning that our federal representative ties a sales tax increase to her support of light rail. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, announced she will not support light rail if voters say "no" to increasing our sales tax. The GVCC opposes a sales tax increase. Our businesses can't afford it and it's not necessary. It is nearly twice as much as is actually needed for the operations and maintenance of light rail and several reports show there is already funding available without raising the sales tax.
Tax increases should never be used as a first choice. It should be a last resort.
We at GVCC agree with the congresswoman on many issues as she is a strong business supporter. Unfortunately, it would appear the politics of this issue has overshadowed the real question. Do we want to raise our sales tax if we don't have to?
GVCC is a strong supporter of the bridge project, which includes light rail. We think there is a better way to fund it than raising our sales tax.