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Letters from Dec. 8, 2007
Property tax deferral
Just another Band-aid
Recently our Legislature passed a bill providing a 50 percent property tax deferral for households with incomes of $57,000 or less. It appears to me this is just one more Band-aid to a flawed overall tax structure in this state. The same democratically controlled Legislature passed legislation for domestic partnerships in the name of equity.
Now, with this Band-aid to help out over taxed middle-class homeowners, many of those who have just gained the right to be domestic partners, will have to choose between a civil contract which would put them over the amount allowed for tax relief, or to be treated equally under the law in other civil matters. Government policies directed at gaining votes to certain groups almost never solve the overall problem, in this case a regressive tax that hurts those of us who see our homes as a place to come home to be with our families after a days work.
When will Olympia become concerned with all of us, instead of just some of us?
Cant we see where this is leading?
Iran denies the Holocaust and vows to wipe Israel off the map. They must be referring to our maps because maps in the Arab world dont even show Israel. They claim their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, yet brag about a program that is capable of producing a bomb. Why cant we see where this is leading? Doesnt anybody remember Hitler and his book Mein Kampf? He told us what he planned and everybody ignored him. When will people wake up to the danger?
Trees are our most valued resource
Record flooding should remind us that were losing our trees. Urban forests reduce flooding by holding storm water long enough to soak into the aquifer. We now know that storm water runoff is the number one pollution source for Puget Sound.
Aerial photos of Silverdale show we have lost 50 percent of our trees in the last 30 years. At this rate, most will be gone 30 years from now.
Our state Legislature will soon be reviewing legislation that could reverse this trend. The Evergreen Cities legislation would promote statewide standards for the retention and replacement of our urban forests. It would provide matching grants to communities to adopt standards, including enforceable tree ordinances, to prevent the further loss of this priceless resource.
Trees are one of the most undervalued resources we have. They improve property values, lower heating and cooling costs, buffer storm water runoff, provide wildlife habitat and make our communities more livable and beautiful. Yet we cant remove them fast enough to make way for houses and impermeable pavement.
There are no perfect solutions as we increase urban densities under the Growth Management Act. But with the willing cooperation of all concerned, urban growth doesnt need to be an either/or for our trees.