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EDITORIAL: Support Fire District 5
Fire Protection District 5, also known as Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue, has a very reasonable proposition on the Sept. 14 ballot. It needs an additional 10 cents per thousand to maintain its excellent service to Coupeville and the Central Whidbey area.
Since 2001 when voters implemented the 1 percent rule on property tax increases, the Fire District 5 board has done an excellent job maintaining and even improving services. But in an inflationary economy, an annual income increase limited to 1 percent eventually catches up with you. So it has with Fire District 5, which risks losing the ground it has gained without the nominal 10 cent increase it is seeking.`
The tax hike is in keeping with the spirit of Initiative 747, which instigated the 1 percent limit. The ideas was to make local taxing districts more accountable to the people, rather than imposing a draconian income limit. And in that regard it has worked. Fire District 5 leaders thorougly aired the proposed increase in the community before placing it on the ballot and have worked hard to explain the ballot measure to the voters. In all regards, the Fire District has earned the small tax increase it is seeking.