Tax reform should include government reform

Editor,

All this talk lately about federal tax reform — local tax deduction, alternative minimum tax, estate taxes, tax rates. One group ends up subsidizing another.

The problem is government inefficiency. Do you notice all those people standing around behind the politician speaking? All well-dressed, all likely earning six figures. They should all get to work instead of standing around in front of the camera. Earn your salary! Get something done!

The other problem is government corruption. Politicians vote to please those who donate towards their reelection. Money buys government decisions all too often.

I have tried to work with Reps. Dave Hayes and Norma Smith and Sen. Barbara Bailey for years on state property tax legislation improvements. The comparable sales/property grid software that our assessor uses in appeals violates Washington law and appraisal industry accepted standards. The assessed valuation of our homes is basically a judgment call, with little written methodology. In my area, land is valued in $50,000 increments. Land is valued as though a wide open view could be obtained in spite of environmental restrictions.

When I appealed my assessed valuation, I was penalized by a valuation increase well beyond that of my neighbors — 161 percent in one year! There is too much unchecked power in government.

I hardly get a response from our three state legislators. Can they work on the revenue side of our state government at the same time as the spending side? Is the problem so big they don’t want to address it?

Democracy requires checks and balances, efficient operation and constant vigilance of corruption in order to succeed. Don’t tax us more. Tax us fairly, justifiably and transparently. Use our taxes efficiently. Stop all forms and degrees of corruption. Represent us citizens by doing what is right, and just not what simply gets you reelected.

Democracy is not socialism. Help those truly in need, not those who want a free ride subsidized by others and who found a loophole to do so.

Tax reform should include government reform. Return to the democratic foundations and ethics of our country’s beginnings!

Tim Verschuyl

Oak Harbor

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