Commissioners are unlikely to fix taxes / LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
September 21, 2012 · 10:33 AM
Here we go again.
Jill Johnson-Pfeiffer watched all but one of Oak Harbor’s new-car dealerships disappear during her tenure as executive director of the Oak Harbor Chamber. As a county commissioner, she would “increase the tax base through economic growth.” Really?
Former challenger Phil Collier wanted to build low-income housing on his own land just outside Oak Harbor. Former challenger Jim Campbell also itched to expand Oak Harbor’s city limits.
We don’t need to stretch city utilities and encroach on wildlife habitat and rural residences. The new Navy housing just replaced the old Navy housing. Oak Harbor can do the same. Really.
Our county commissioners can’t fix the worst state tax system in the nation, but they could pressure our state senator, representatives, or governor to do something about it. Public agencies levy a noxious array of taxes and fees to pay for public services. A plumber just sends customers a bill. Really.
If sales taxes are too high, anyone can drive to the next county or state and pay less. Shopping online might incur no taxes or shipping. Military personnel and retirees shop at military bases and pay no taxes, while businesses outside the gates are hurting. Really.
Property taxes are a terrible burden to poor homeowners and are expensive to collect. Island County employs 18 people to assess property taxes at a cost of more than $1 million annually, but no county incumbent or challenger plans to trim that cost.
The county might reduce a property tax, but never kill it, no matter how onerous it is. Really.
Lack of political will prevents our Legislature from adopting a source of revenue that 44 other states (including the only state that has a budget surplus) have, and no incumbent or challenger has any innovative ideas. If that the best we can do, God help us. Really.
– Jim Bruner