Letter: State should use taxation system akin to California’s

Editor,

On Proposition 13, the California property tax revolt of 1978 — Paul Gann, a conservative legislator in California in the 1970s, put forward an initiative on the ballot called proposition 13.

It basically declared “property taxes were to be assessed their 1976 value and restricted annual increases of the tax to an inflation factor, not to exceed 2 percent per year. A reassessment of the property tax can only be made a) when the property ownership changes or b) there is construction done.”

Folks in California were tired of the assessment process that was similar to the one currently used in the state of Washington. It was mainly because the tax increases were pricing many older folks out of their homes.

The current system in our state requires a legion of tax assessors and appeal processors to be paid by the taxpayer. Under a system that bases taxes on the purchase price of the home plus 2 percent a year maximum for inflation — that would eliminate all these employees and save counties countless thousands.

The kicker is that under a system based on purchase price and inflation increases, my current assessment would be almost the same as one conjured up by a legion of tax assessors on the public payroll.

Also, folks wouldn’t ever get sticker shock year to year and be able to predict their future taxes better, and counties would have a more reliable stream of revenue year to year to plan budgets.

It is food for thought; and if you like the idea, then contact your legislators and let them know.

If not, well you can wait for that surprise in your mail every year.

Thomas Kosloske

Oak Harbor

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