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Enough already -- vote 'yes'

Few issues in the past 20 years have raised as many questions and fueled as much discussion as this jail issue that is on Tuesday’s ballot.

It seems quite simple to me. We have to provide a safe place for prisoners and have to keep our county employees as safe as possible.

What is the most feasible way of doing this?

Misinformation has been circulating even though this newspaper and the county commission have provided facts and figures about the issue.

Some believe the county has all of the time in the world to do this. Some believe it would be cheaper to transport prisoners to a jail in another county. Those who believe either of these are wrong.

No one wants taxes to increase — sales or property. Voters need to decide what is in the best interest of the county — the entire county.

We can’t blame some businesses for being against a sales tax increase. They’re trying to keep their business in the black and their doors open.

We don’t want to lose any more businesses in Marion County. We can’t afford that but we also can’t afford a multimillion-dollar lawsuit or worse.

So, where does this leave us? We have to decide what is best for the entire county. These decisions are never easy because it could be a hardship for someone.

If the sales tax passes, some say it could affect Marion County businesses that sell large-ticket items. I’ve heard this many times but have not quite bought into it.

When my better half and I purchased a vehicle a few years ago from a Hillsboro dealer, we didn’t ask about the sales tax. The price was what we wanted to pay, we liked the truck, and we wanted to buy as local as possible. For us, it was about price and service, not sales tax.

When consumers purchase a vehicle, they pay the appropriate sales tax at the location of the seller. If the sales tax is less than where the consumer resides, the consumer pays the difference to the county treasurer when the vehicle is registered.

I have never looked at a sales receipt and thought, “Gee, I paid too much in sales tax. I will never return to this town because of that.”

If the sales tax fails, the state fire marshal will be back and the county will have to decide which out-of-county jail it will transport inmates to. It also means the current jail will have to be updated to house prisoners overnight and before and after court hearings.

Which decision is best for the common good?

I hope when we go to the polls Tuesday we make the best decision for this county by voting “yes.”

Enough already. We have to resolve this issue and give the commission time to plan for the future so we’re not in this predicament again.

— susan berg

Last modified March 30, 2011

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