LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Milton-Freewater will be big winner in Washington's tax plan

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Taking away Oregonions' sales-tax exemption in Washington state and raising the sales tax rate will be the best news that the city of Milton-Freewater has had in years.

The city will be able to finally expand the city limits to the state line. Target, Costco and perhaps a new mall could be built on that vacant land along Highway 11. The residents of Milton-Freewater won't have to work in Walla Walla any longer. The city won't have to remind them to shop locally as it will be automatic. Who wouldn't want to save 8.6 percent sales tax on every purchase?

All the car sales to residents of Oregon will be the first thing to disappear back across state lines. You will see even more car dealerships along the corridor. Gilbert Auto will have a good reason to reopen its shop in Milton. After all who wants to pay an extra $1,720 on a new $20,000 car.

It is by no accident that the major growth has been along Highway 12 in College Place. It gets sales from all three towns - Walla Walla, College Place and Milton-Freewater.

That new line will be across the state line. When they build the new big box stores, more people from the Washington side of the line will shop on the Oregon side of the Line. While we are over there we will buy more gas in Oregon as it is already 10 cents cheaper per gallon. Cash sales will increase as the dollars will leave Walla Walla and College Place and relocate to Oregon, after all the Washington state Department of Revenue can't track cash sales.

With the increase of the standard of living with all those extra sales, shopping and working locally, maybe the Milton-Freewater School District will finally be able to pass a school bond.

It might take awhile but doing away with the sales-tax exemption could be the best thing the state of Washington could do for the state of Oregon and for the city of Milton-Freewater.

Steve Dalke

Walla Walla

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