Letters to the Editor

City keeps raising taxes

I believe I read somewhere or heard on the news that in November of last year the voters of Washington approved into law Initiative 747, which would limit property tax increases to 1 percent a year. I also believe I heard or read that immediately after its approval the state wanted to declare it unconstitutional! How could it possibly be unconstitutional if the government is by the people? It appears that the people have spoken; therefore the government is obligated to adhere to the new law.

But, that is not the case in Oak Harbor. The Oak Harbor City Council has something called “banked” percentage points. Has anyone besides the city council ever heard of banked percentage points? Since they did not impose as much of a tax increase as they could have, they banked the remainder. And why didn’t we hear about these “banked” points before the new law went into effect? Do they have that prerogative?

Governments have the ability to declare a tax increase anytime they need more money for whatever reason. The taxpayers do not have the ability to declare an income increase anytime they need more money.

Soon the city will be raising our property taxes (legally, by one percent), and our sewage costs, and our garbage costs and our water costs, and our storm drain costs.

The city also imposes a tax on our telephone, and our cell phone and on our electricity and who knows what else. You can only get so much water out of a turnip! It’s time that we the people make our governments accountable to us, instead of the other way around.

Marion Hess lives in Oak Harbor.

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