Letter: Paychecks can’t keep up with tax increases


According to your Oct. 26 article, the Coupeville school district is considering three new levies: the capital projects levy, the tech levy and the operations levy ($1.05, $.16, and $.88 per $1,000 of assessed value respectively). For a house assessed at $400,000, that comes to over $800 in annual taxes.

Additionally, the Port of Coupeville is establishing an Industrial Development District which may be collecting $.27 per $1,000 of assessed values over the next 10 years (another $108 per year for the $400k house). Depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s ballot measure for WhidbeyHealth, that tax may be going from $.07 to $.50 (or an increase of $172 for the $400k house).

Then we have the new payroll taxes. The current Paid Family and Medical Leave payroll tax is .04%. In January that increases to .6%. Plus, we add the new long-term care payroll tax for an additional .58%, which means that in January the Washington payroll taxes are seeing a nearly 300% increase. The Census Bureau says that the average annual household income in Island County is $68,604, which means it will see its payroll taxes go from $274 to over $800.

Adding it all together, a household on Whidbey with average income and a $400,000 house would pay over $1,600 a year for all these new taxes (in addition to the taxes they already pay).

Like most people, my paycheck isn’t increasing at anywhere near the rate of these taxes. Just because something is worth doing doesn’t mean that it’s worth taxing everyone to pay for it.

David Mahaffy


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