Letters to the Editor

Setting the record straight

I read with interest your recent election coverage. There is one item I wish to correct in your July 27 article. This is a concept which has caused much confusion and is important to set straight.

Proposition 1 will set the rate for the County Current Expense Levy at 75 cents for 2011, but permanently increase the levy by $2 million. That new amount can only be increased by 1 percent or the CPI until 2015, and then it is recapped at 1 percent annual increase.

The levy amount is what is permanent, not the rate. The levy amount will be divided each year by the total property value of the county to determine the annual rate for each tax bill. Depending on whether a person’s property value goes up or down, each taxpayer will experience this change differently each year.

The rate of inflation is expected to stay close to 1 percent for the near future according to our budget director, the citizens’ panel who tested our assumptions, and most recently Ben Bernanke.

Helen Price Johnson

Island County Commissioner

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