A new restaurant tax has business owners grumbling in Yachats. In December the city council passed a 5% food and beverage tax to raise funds for a new wastewater treatment plant and other city projects. The tax, which does not affect bed and breakfasts or eateries that serve alcohol, will go into effect July 1. Don Lindsley, owner of Leroy’s Blue Whale, says the tax will drive out-of-town visitors away. “Oregonians don’t like paying taxes,” he says, citing the failure to pass a state sales tax despite numerous appearances on the ballot. Lindsley estimates about half of his patrons are tourists who “will just drive eight miles” to neighboring towns where their meals won’t be taxed. The Oregon Restaurant Association is attempting a referendum to halt the tax and put the issue before voters in November.
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