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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Emerson off base on beach property

January 14, 2013 · Updated 2:58 PM
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To the editor:

Island County Commissioner Kelly Emerson’s “nay” vote on accepting the Robinson family’s gift of Mutiny Bay waterfront property reveals her misunderstanding of how investment creates value.

Yes, the property in question will no longer be taxable. Yes, the expense of property maintenance will be borne by taxpayers. On the other side of the ledger, assuring perpetual beach access will increase the value of all surrounding property owners’ holdings and thus raise the taxable assessed valuation of the neighborhood as a whole. That’s a net “plus” for county coffers.

Moreover, Ms. Emerson should occasionally stroll along Island County’s wonderful beaches and talk to the people she meets. As often as not, they will be off-islanders. Who spend their money. Who help support local businesses. Which pay taxes. Which pay for maintenance of park land. Tourists won’t come if they can’t access our beaches.

Accepting the Robinson property is as close as a slam dunk investment in ourselves as we’re likely to find. Thanks to Commissioners Helen Price Johnson and Jill Johnson for “getting it.”

Paul Thompson

Langley

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