South Whidbey Record


LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Questionnaire is questioned

May 10, 2013 · Updated 3:30 PM

To the editor:

This is regarding the Island County Assessor’s Office questionnaire.

How can it be that recently commercial property owners were mailed notices requesting income and expense information for the last two years, and no one has complained or asked questions?

Aren’t commercial property owners already paying excise tax, income tax, real property tax and property tax?

Why is it the Island County assessor’s business what the annual gross income is? Is it any concern to the Assessor’s Office what the annual operation expenses are before real estate taxes, except to raise property taxes? Why should they see leases?

Apparently if a business makes too much money, their property should cost more. No one is asking if anyone made a profit. Does any government agency understand net income?

This is a new “required” questionnaire requesting sensitive information (although confidentiality is assured). Who feels comfortable sharing information without a clear understanding of the goal? Washington State already has a tax based on gross income, when everyone knows net profit is the reality of each business. Is property tax also to be influenced by gross income?

This all smacks of double, triple taxation.

Gail Warner

Oak Harbor

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