When people want to raise your taxes, they talk “millage” rate, the rate per $1000 of home value. This rate floats as the assessed value of your home changes so that it never really tells you how much you owe. So let me give you some real data of what has actually happened on Orcas the past two years.
Two years ago, the Orcas Library and the Orcas Park and Rec had levies which increased their income by 48-67 percent. Because Orcas was reassessed, most people did not see an increase in their taxes, except for the people in the West Sound to Deer Harbor area. They saw their taxes increase 80–90 percent because their homes were reassessed upward.
Last year, from the two school bonds and the state school tax increase, most of Orcas Island, the part that didn’t get hit the previous year, saw an increase in taxes of 23–33 percent. For a modest inland home valued at $248,000, that was an actual increase of $458. This is what actually did happen, and we just got our notices with that increase in the mail. The taxes are due.
What the Hospital Taxing District is now sort of asking, as no real plan has been revealed, is around 55 cents per$1000 which will mean to that same island family another $136 on top of the $458 being asked of them this year for a grand total of $594 increase in taxes in just two years. What island family can pay that? Whose wages have gone up 38–43 percent in the last two years? Are we willing to lose island families for a threat of losing local doctors? Say “yes” to local families by voting “NO” on the hospital taxing district.