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What effect will I-695 have on the the new city?

"Staff WriterWith Initiative 695 receiving the support of 57.45 percent of the state’s voters Tuesday night, county officials are bracing themselves for the projected impacts of the measure. It will slash the state’s Motor Vehicle Excise Tax to $30 per vehicle and require voter approval for all tax and fee increases.Potential Silverdale City Council members were not sounding so dire.State and county officials have already grumbled that the initiative will limit their ability to provide services. The projected losses for 2000 that I-695 and incorporation will cause put the county in the precarious position of having to plan for tremendous revenue losses as it prepares its budget.Both County Commissioner Tim Botkin and Silverdale 2000 Campaign spokesman Bert Cole speculated I-695 will be tied up in the courts because of ambiguity in its provision on voter approval for tax increases. “I, personally, can’t see where the money is going to come to pay for the base that is going to be lost” from the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, Cole said. He called the initiative short-sighted.“There’s no long-term understanding of where the other funds are going to come from,” he said.However, he quickly pointed out that the issue is separate from incorporation. “So far as I’m concerned, I-695 has nothing to do with the incorporation of Silverdale. ... It will impact the city exactly the same as the county, and whichever one is better equipped to deal with it, I don’t know,” Cole said.Cole’s tune was decidedly different from that of fellow incorporation proponent and possible city council candidate Sam Hadley. “It’s a small portion of the county budget and nil on the city budget. I don’t think it’s a problem,” he said.Hadley said the state government should take I-695’s passage as a message that the people are sick of taxes and spendy fees. “I think it is going to be really interesting to see if the legislature and government are going to step up to the plate and stop dipping into the voters’ pockets,” he said.Citizens for Silverdale President Richard Sheak, who assumed a leadership position in the incorporation movement just six weeks ago, said he worries about the “voter approval” provision in I-695. “I don’t think it’s going to matter for revenue,” Sheak said, pointing to studies that show a Silverdale city government would rely on sales tax for most of its budget. In theory, none of the sales tax revenue would be impacted by I-695.“But what could be difficult is that the voters are going to have to be really informed when it comes to voting on taxes,” Sheak said. He said he learned in the incorporation campaign that it’s hard to control where people get their information."

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