LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tax increase is a small price to pay

To the editor:

I was somewhat appalled at the tone and strength of negativity of the letter published May 10 regarding the port commission’s intention of asking for an increase in their tax levy.

Delusional or not, costs are steadily increasing everywhere, not just on Whidbey Island, and the world is not coming to a halt.

The proposed improvements to the marina are not principally for “wealthy tourists,” but for local enthusiasts who now keep their boats and therefore spend their money, in Everett, Anacortes and Oak Harbor. The wealthy tourist is, of course, welcome to come and spend their money in our communities if they so wish. The improved marina will provide some permanent and temporary jobs at the port and stimulate private investment in boating related businesses adding additional jobs to South Whidbey. A substantial number of the boaters on this island are indeed senior citizens on a fixed income, and would relish the choice of spending their disposable income in their own communities, rather than elsewhere.

It occurs to me that, if one lives on an island, that one probably has some attraction to the water, be it boating, fishing, swimming, beach walking/watching, lighthouse keeping, clamming or just to dream of faraway places as they watch the ships pass by. Therefore, one would expect these people to be in favor of improvements that would make any of these activities more available and/or enjoyable. If not, why live on an island? Certainly not for easier access or lower prices on food and gasoline.

To accuse elected officials of “delusions of grandeur” when they are attempting to fulfill the job requirements of the positions they were elected to, well, speaking of a slap in the face.

In short, a 20-cent increase per $1,000 is a very small price to pay for the additional jobs, business and local income that will be generated from this development. It is a far lower increase than those recently seen in food, gasoline and public utilities. And I have not noticed those increases make any changes in the job count or commerce level. There is of course an alternative, that a private investor buy or lease the property, probably from offshore, and then we can be sure that the monies spent by us and the wealthy tourists goes to foreign shores.

Don McArthur

Freeland

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