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Prop. 1 letter was incorrect | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the editor:
Geoff Tapert's recent letter was incorrect stating if Prop. 1 passes you could pay Island County twice as much in property taxes in 10 years as you do now.
1. This levy is only for the current county expense fund, which is about 7 percent of your total property taxes. (The county serves as the collection agency for all the entities that receive property taxes ... schools, libraries, fire districts, hospitals, etc.). This levy is to raise money for one small slice of the pie. Your tax statement shows what percentages other districts receive.
2. It is estimated that a $250,000 property would pay about $40 more per year if Prop. 1 passes; $3-$4 a month to keep essential services at the county.
3. After making many cuts, Island County is still short about $2 million of the $9.5 million they need.(Previous revenue from sales tax, interest and fees is down sharply).
To receive that amount they need to increase the current rate, 59 cents/$1,000 (of assessed property value) by 16 cents to 75 cents/$,1000 for 2011. In 2012, if Prop. 1 passes, the county current expense levy will be $9.5 million. That levy amount cannot be increased by more than the CPI or 1 percent for the next four years. Each year the previous levy total will be divided by the county's total property value to arrive at the rate each of us will pay. If our property values increase, the rates will go down. The inverse if property values drop. In 2015 the CPI option will go away and the 1 percent cap is permanent on whatever the total amount is at that time ($9.5 million plus four years of CPI or 1 percent increases).
The budget director and national economists forecast that it is likely the CPI will bump along at near 1-2 percent for the near future. If that is the case, the levy would increase by a max of 8 percent in four years, but that is ONLY on the the 7 percent slice of property taxes for county current expenses ... NOT the doubling of your total property taxes that Mr. Tapert alleged.
A helpful site to go over these facts in more detail is https://sites.google.com/site/yesislandcountyprop1/home. There are also links from that site to more county information.
I hope this helps and thanks to all who are trying to get informed.