Opinion

Reader Sound-off: A tax increase is not the solution

There is no doubt that as Silverdale grows, agencies such as libraries must also grow to meet the needs of citizens.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown (a.k.a. “The Commish”) at least has that part right (“Vision of new library has not been forgotten,” Feb. 9, CK Reporter). What Mr. Brown has wrong is how to fund it.

Mr. Brown states that we must raise the tax rate to fund the library. Let’s do some math. Central Kitsap has grown tremendously in the past 10 years. Hundreds of homes have been built and each one has a taxable value that has increased the revenue for the county by millions of dollars.

Additionally, there has been an explosive growth in business resulting in even more revenue in Central Kitsap. A tax rate is a rate on the value of your home or business. As the value of your home or business increases, so does the revenue collected by the county.

We’ve seen our homes increase in value more than 100 percent in the past 10 years alone. We’ve watched business grow 200 percent.

All this means that the rate per thousand also increased a proportionate amount plus the amount from growth.

Part of our taxes are capped at 1 percent, but they’ve played tricks by splitting out portions of the tax districts that are exempt from this 1 percent.

We’ve seen our homes go up in value more than the rate of inflation and we’ve watched the tricks that the county has done with our tax bills. My taxes in 10 years have nearly doubled, but my income hasn’t.

So Mr. Brown, that’s the reason that people said no to the increased library levy. We’ve watched Kitsap County budgets go sky high with waste. We’ve watched you guys play tricks with money, splitting out tax authorities, creating new tax authorities, etc., etc.

Apparently the only solution in your mind is a tax increase. You guys have this grand vision of using our dollars to fund businesses in Old Town Silverdale, create an art district, etc. Is this really the time for that, since we are in recession now? Can you do a little better with your timing?

I thought you were elected to be smart enough to manage resources and do the right things, but all I’ve seen coming from you is more taxes, environmental extremism and growth moratoriums on business. Well, how about living within your means and letting the people and markets decide what is best?

How about waiting until the economy improves to start proposing tax increases? Even your own political party recognizes that much at least.

DAVID HATZENBUEHLER

Silverdale

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