New tax meets the public

Islanders will have a chance to voice their opinions about a proposed property tax recommended by the Whidbey Island Conservation District.

Two public meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, July 8.

The first one begins at 3 p.m. at the Taylor Road Fire Station north of Oak Harbor while the second one begins at 7 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church off Highway 525 north of Freeland.

The Whidbey Conservation District wants to collect an assessment where property owners will pay $5 per parcel plus 5 cents an acre. If approved, it would bring in an estimated $240,000 annually.

The Island County Commissioners will ultimately decide whether to approve the assessment.

The Whidbey Island Conservation District currently relies on grants for the bulk of its funding each year, but the amounts it receives fluctuates.

Conservation District Manager Karen Bishop said she hopes to have a proposal delivered to the county commissioners by Aug. 1.

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