EDITORIAL: EMS Levy passage is not negotiable

On Nov. 5, please vote for Whidbey Island’s emergency medical services levy.

As if this needed an endorsement, but a reminder never hurts. With Washington and many Whidbey Island voters still in a tax cutting mood after three years of people’s tax initiatives, the folks who run the ambulances and Whidbey General Hospital cannot be too careful this fall.

Last week, hospital officials began talking up the levy, which like many other taxes in Island County is based on property values. Though the millage is the same this year as it was for 2000 — 37 cents for every $1,000 of property value — EMS services will probably make a little more money this time around due to the increase in property values. As they should, since the island’s population has also increased in those two years.

And let’s face it — for someone who owns a $150,000 home, $54.50 is not a lot to pay for 24-hour medical assistance for anyone who needs it. With any luck, more than 90 percent of property tax payers will never need to use this inexpensive, tax-funded insurance policy.

So, again, vote for the EMS levy.

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