Whidbey News-Times


Renters shouldn’t cast ballots on Oak Harbor school levy | Letters

January 31, 2013 · Updated 3:42 PM


It appears the Whidbey News-Times is only printing pro-school levy articles and letters. With such a large Republican base in the area it is hard to fathom that there are no opposing letters.

If not, let me throw a fly into the ointment. I have not yet decided how I will vote, yet two issues give pause to this Democrat in voting for this levy.

First, why are we looking at a near 100 percent increase in the school tax? This would add $400 to my property tax. The argument has been made that it would take us back to the funding lost over the last four years. The question to property owners — have you regained all your income lost over the last four years? These are leaner times and it appears the schools want to turn the clock back regardless of the economic situation of the taxpayer. A more modest increase or incremental increases would have made more sense and been an easier pill to swallow.

The second issue is: Why do property owners have to bear the burden of the tax increase while non-property owners can vote with no thought of a tax increase? Yes, sure — landlords could pass on the increase in the form of higher rents to their tenants, but in today’s rental market, with a plethora of rentals available, it is highly doubtful landlords will increase rents and take the chance of the tenants leaving and having a vacant rental for months on end. In property tax only increases — only property owners should be allowed to vote. But alas, that will never occur.

So I urge all landlords, if this school levy passes, I would hope you split the difference in your tax increase with the tenants who voted for it with no thought of how it would effect their budgets.

Unless somebody can convince me that my points have no merit — I am leaning toward voting against the levy.

Thomas Kosloske
Oak Harbor


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