Island County residents are on the dole
March 2, 2010 · Updated 1:49 PM
I have a vacation house on Whidbey but live in Seattle. I love the letters from residents decrying taxes and our loss of freedom.
Island County is poor. Really poor. Its residents don’t make any money. They apparently can’t even pay for their own septic inspections. Electricity, cable TV and phone service are so unprofitable they are required by law. Because it has a powerful senator, Island County receives way more tax money than it pays in. Think ferries. Imagine Highway 20 a dirt road.
Island County also receives enormous amounts of Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and military aid. Most of the recipients paid in taxes a tiny fraction compared to the benefits they continue to receive. Payroll taxes were once 1 cent per dollar. I pay 15.3 cents for myself and 7.65 cents per dollar for my employees’ share.
So who really pays for Island County? King County does, and it would love to keep its money and the ferries Sen. Haugen stole for Keystone, a ferry route Sen. Horn once described as going from nowhere to nowhere.
I also pay for Island County. I pay a fortune in property taxes because it is the only county revenue source (paid in large part by out-of-county residents) and don’t really get anything out of it and can’t vote. I also pay a fortune to Seattle, King County and the state; and a real fortune in Social Security, Medicare and income taxes.
But I figure at least some Island County kids should be educated so they can go to college and move away, and grandma and grandpa need health care and shelter, then there’s Iraq and Afghanistan which I don’t really understand, and all the poor kids with poor moms and deadbeat dads who need health care, and a hot lunch that doesn’t go to meth, and a jail for the kids who weren’t educated, and a bus I suppose, ferries obviously, unless you row like Capt. Whidbey, and so on.
So, I would ask the next writer to set out in their letter everything they pay in taxes. And please don’t whine that you don’t make very much to begin with, because a road, a ferry, a school, Navy airplane or hospital all cost the same to make whether you are rich or poor, and someone else has to take the heavy oar and row rather than complain.