To the Editor:
I applaud the letter written and published in the Blue Mountain Eagle on April 3 by Pete Hettinga of Dayville. Pete’s letter stated facts backed by common sense that should not be dismissed by the citizens of Grant County.
I am fairly concerned that many citizens of Grant County do not understand that the decisions of the John Day City Council concerning the wants of their city manager will spill over to the rest of the county to pay for through taxation. The businesses of John Day are sustainable because of the Grant County residents. We support them for our main grocery needs, medical, auto parts, furniture, flooring, ATVs, livestock feed, tires, etc. Neighbors have always relied on neighbors, and we, the neighboring communities of Grant County, are good neighbors to John Day. The wants of John Day are not being penciled out to be financially sustainable, so who will pay for the sustainability once the wants are pushed through? That would be us, the neighboring communities of John Day through the rise of our county taxes. Would that make the city of John Day good neighbors to their neighbors?
As I see it, the Grant County citizens all have a stake in the changes that are being proposed in John Day. Do they really need a new pool? Or a new high-speed internet? Or a change in the John Day River channel? Or a greenhouse? Remember, if the city of John Day cannot find a way to pay upfront for these proposed wants and guarantee their sustainability, we will pay for them through higher taxes. How many residents will be pushed out of Grant County if that happens? Does John Day want to lose the business the area neighbors bring to them? Like Pete stated, today’s shopping can be delivered most of the time for a less expensive cost.
Editor's note: The property tax rates for Grant County, each city within the county and all other taxing districts are permanent and cannot be raised. Additional taxing districts, as well as temporary bonds and local option taxes, can add to property tax bills but must first be approved by the voters who would pay them. For other types of taxes, Oregon law requires voter approval before tax-related ordinances take effect.