In a letter to the editor, Phil Peterson stated about property taxes: ”each of us needs to clearly understand the cost consequences and cast informed votes.” I strongly agree. Phil cites the increase in state property taxes to fund education but he neglected to note that the levy lift that our school district has employed every year will no longer be allowed. The net effect is neutral: the savings from no levy lift are about the same as the tax increase.
Phil also states that “another group wants $0.75 for a hospital district.” That is simply not accurate. While there is a measure on the April 2018 ballot for a Public Hospital District to enable all the members of our community to have access to primary/urgent care in a financially sustainable manner, the commissioners would be responsible for determining the levy rate. Actually, the $0.75 is the absolute maximum allowed by law and I know of no group that has advocated for that amount.
I strongly agree with Phil that we, as voters, should be well-informed about all the services that are being offered and what they will cost.
Interestingly, total taxes from all sources per capita in each state is a good measure for comparison. Washington state is right in the middle of the 50 states in total taxes per person. That being said, we still need to be vigilant that our tax dollars are spent efficiently and effectively for services we want and need.