As different as we are in Eastern Oregon from the folks on the other side of the Cascades, there are a few things that seem to unify all Oregonians.

We don't pump our own gas, we're proud of the natural beauty and we refuse to pay a sales tax. So far, anyway.

With the state facing dire budget problems, the unthinkable may be getting closer to reality. And people might not mind all that much.

An online poll conducted by our sister paper, the East Oregonian, indicates that only 51 percent of the 589 respondents voted to never enact a sales tax. The other 49 percent spread their answers among a small, temporary tax and a large, permanent one.

The most popular answer, besides the absolute never, is to reduce the income tax and add a sales tax. This is a reasonable approach, one that at least has this little unscientific poll nearly convinced.

The idea seems to have some traction on the west end as well, and may be part of Oregon's restructuring process as we climb out of the recession. Then we'll be like the rest of the country, counting out extra change for every dollar spent.

At least our hands won't smell of gasoline.

- TC

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