Letters to the Editor

Money: Timber policy raises taxes

This letter is in response to the brief article on timber tax revenue for Island County.

Elaine Marlow stated that “there’s very little timber harvested on public lands.”

Good grief, I hope she was referring to Island County only. The main reason we all have been paying more and more for schools is that the state has not sold timber, mandated by our constitution to finance schools, because of the voter-approved law that made it illegal to export timber from state lands. The Birkenstock wearing, backpacking, tree-hugging liberals from this state got that law passed.

The Department of Natural Resources gets 25 cents from every dollars worth of timber sold. The 75 cents that is left goes to finance schools. Gee, we can’t get top dollar for the timber. We have to sell it to local mills; most of which operate with only a third of the employees they used to have, since the supply is greater than demand. The stumpage to the state is less, and lumber prices are out of sight, but the mills can cut to export specs, which gives them a higher return.

The taxpayers of Washington are having to pay higher school taxes. The mills are making record profits. There has been an artificial timber shortage created, driving up the price of domestic lumber used in home building. It must be a great thing, except for the consumer and the taxpayer. Do you remember the good old days, when your tax bill was hundreds of dollars less for schools? You could buy a 2x4 without taking out a second mortgage?

Thank the tree hugging liberals for costing us all many dollars.

Larry E. Ogle

Coupeville

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