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Rushed LOT proposal doesn't deserve our support

| September 26, 2021 1:00 AM

“… [I]ncluded but not limited to:” Whenever you read those seemingly innocuous words do you immediately say to yourself, “I had better read that again (and maybe again)?”

Those words are found on the Nov. 2 seven-year 1% local option tax ballot followed by a list of projects where the city might spend those tax dollars: City Beach, downtown waterfront (aka Sand Creek), Travers/Centennial/Great Northern sports complex, purchase more parks property and lastly some sidewalk improvements. Don’t forget the “…included but not limited to …”

Someone (I couldn’t see who on Zoom) at the Aug. 8 City Council meeting said, “We don’t want to get bogged down in details.” The need for flexibility was mentioned by more than one.

The mayor opened the meeting with a lecture about how the city needs to take a leading role in supporting healthy lifestyles by providing access to healthy activities to reduce preventable diseases, depression and rising numbers of youth suicides. It came across to me as sanctimonious and condescending.

Ketchum’s LOT exempts groceries. Sandpoint did not consider restructuring the proposed LOT to eliminate food from the added 1% tax. The council could also have exempted prescriptions for example. What a huge help that would have been to many. In McCall and Kellogg their LOT goes entirely to street improvements. What a concept

This proposal was rushed through too quickly, giving the council inadequate time to consider their options.

I am voting no on this one. Please consider voting no as well.

HELEN NEWTON

Sandpoint