Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | How can they claim they didn’t raise taxes?

To the editor:

With each edition of the South Whidbey Record, I read letters to the editor that praise Helen Price Johnson and Angie Homola.

If Island County’s finances weren’t such a serious matter, the letters would be entertaining. But the high taxation and high spending by these two members of the county commission is breathtaking. This while they and their surrogates deny that either has increased taxes while they have been in office.

Well, reality is a nasty thing.

I remind readers that there is a direct relationship between a property’s assessed value and combined millage and the amount of taxes paid. I keep a spreadsheet of the assessed value and combined millage by tax year for our home in Freeland. Taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the millage. The product of that calculation is the amount of tax you are obligated to pay.

During the nearly four years that Price Johnson and Homola have been in office, the value of our home has decreased by 10 percent. You would think then that the amount of property tax that we would pay would also be 10 percent less.

Well, it was not. In fact, during that same period, our taxes increased by 12 percent. That means that the amount our taxes increased didn’t just make up for the 10 percent assessed value loss, they were actually increased by Helen Price Johnson and Angie Homola by an additional 2 percent. All of this during an ongoing recession.

So, I ask my fellow Island County taxpayers, why would Price Johnson and Homola want you to believe that they didn’t raise taxes when they did? Maybe they think that, just as there is a direct relationship between assessed value, millage and taxes paid, there is also a direct relationship between admitting the truth, that taxes were increased during their term in office, and their re-election.

ROD R. MOURANT

Freeland

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