Paying without (much) pain

We do it without even thinking about it.

The sales clerk rings up our purchases and we pay.

It's as simple as that.

This past weekend, my better half and I took a short excursion to Sulphur, Okla. We more or less closed our eyes, pointed to a location that would take us four or five hours from home, and there we were in Sulphur, Okla., the gateway to the Arbuckle Mountains.

When we were checking into our cozy little cabin, the proprietor told us the sales tax in Sulphur was 9.05 percent which is paying for the construction of a new city-owned hospital.

"Wow!" we both said.

However, throughout the course of our weekend, we bought groceries and supplies, and ate out.

Sales clerks rang up our purchases and we paid, never giving another thought to the "whopping" 9.05 percent sales tax.

Interesting, isn't it?

If we wouldn't have been told about it, we probably wouldn't have noticed. It didn't stop us from buying groceries, meals, and staying in a cabin.

Here's how I see the one percent sales tax proposed by Marion County Commission for a new county jail.

With an added one percent, there aren't any cities in the county, or in the state for that matter, that will top the nine percent mark.

If that $710,000 bond payment was added to my property tax bills, I probably would notice (and complain) about that but paying for it when I purchase items doesn't seem to hurt the wallet as much.

And the tax will go away when the bond is paid. It really will.

The county commission cannot use that sales tax money for anything else. When that bond is paid, that's it. There's no fancy footwork to keep it going.

Four of our 12 cities in the county thought a local city sales tax was a good idea to pay for their improvements — Marion is paying for an industrial park, Hillsboro a new swimming pool, Florence a new water system, and Peabody a new sewer system.

The only way the sales tax could stay in effect would be if voters approved another project.

The way I see it, we're going to pay for it whether prisoners are housed in Marion County or in some other jail in some other county. Personally, I would rather see my tax dollars stay in the county.