SALEM'S FUN TAX IS NO FUN AT ALL
Isn't it great that communities offer fun things to do? Swimming pools, miniature golf, go-cart rides, summer carnivals, movie theatres, and numerous other things to keep you out of mischief and doing something fun. Well wait a minute, one Oregon city is considering following the lead of a few communities in the east that have imposed a tax on fun things to do. Some of those cities have even added the tax to renting a video.
The city council in Salem is considering creating Oregon's first "fun" tax with the benevolent idea of creating a pool of money to provide after-school support for children of low-income families.
A "fun" tax is just another users tax that has been popular among government entities that need to find a new source of revenue. Most cities and counties charge a tax to people who stay overnight in a local motel or hotel. Some cities charge a tax for eating at a restaurant. The state of Oregon charges a tax to park your vehicle when you go skiing or snowmobiling. Cities charge a tax on a ticket when attending a sporting event or concert. The city of Seattle is considering charging 10 cents per coffee drink.
Talk about taxation without representation! The heart of the matter isn't that Salem wants to create a new tax on entertainment, but that cities, counties and the state just have an inability to live with a set budget. They want to overpower the average citizen, flex their muscle and create a new tax to create a new layer of bureaucracy.
If Salem and Seattle are successful at creating these new taxing devices, then get ready for another tax revolt by consumers and taxpayers; actually, they are one in the same. This time the result could be messier than Measures 50 and 5 combined.
GO AHEAD AND STRIKE - WE DARE YOU
Let's get one thing straight: baseball is a wonderful sport, an American pastime, a beautiful outdoor activity that anybody can enjoy. Major league baseball, however, is Amtrak on the diamond an expensive proposition looking for a subsidy and whining to the masses when it doesn't get what it wants. Players are overpaid and underworked, thanks to owners who overpay them and treat them like kings. Neither players nor owners seem to remember the joy that comes from running 'round the bases on a hot summer day.
Players can strike if they want. The owners can change labor rules if they desire. Fans, however, will find other things to do. Football is around the corner, the NBA will start its long drive in a couple of months and the World Series, if played at all, will be contested before empty seats and untuned televisions. Not just in 2002, but for years to come.