I’d never seen Washington lawmakers so interested in boosting the Oregon economy.

Until June 30, Washington government supported its businesses by encouraging countless Oregon residents to shop there without paying sales tax. My family has lived barely-into-Oregon for nearly three decades. Walla Walla and College Place were the most convenient places to shop and we’ve spent a bundle supporting their businesses.

Sure, we made occasional trips to Tri-Cities and ordered a few things online, but we always preferred to support the local economy.

With the new tax law, it’s time to rethink shopping habits. I’m discovering a variety of options on the Oregon side of the border and finding them eager to please. (They tell me they’re getting a number of new shoppers that used to frequent Walla Walla stores.)

And when I can’t find what I need in Oregon, I can order online and have it delivered to my home. Though it’s very convenient, I’d prefer to support the local economy. But I can’t afford to pay taxes in two states — income tax in Oregon and sales tax in Washington.

Washington residents, let your leaders know you want Oregon residents to help keep your stores open.

Washington business owners and employees, we’ve appreciated doing business with you. If you want us Oregonians back, please contact your legislators. Tell them the new law is shortsighted.

Give them facts and figures. How much business did you do last year with people who showed you Oregon ID? How will the loss of their business affect your bottom line, your ability to stay in business and pay Washington taxes?

Flood your governor and legislators — especially westside legislators — with the reality of small-town economics. Help them realize that border cities depend on Oregon shoppers.

Helen Heavirland


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