Letter: There’s much more that the taxpayer needs to know

Editor,

Letter writer Mark Wahl, of Langley, accurately noted in the March 27 Whidbey News-Times that the 300-pound gorilla influencing housing issues here is our military, and it needs to correct the problem equitably.

There is a lot more to this story that every property taxpayer needs to know.

Sadly, housing for our nation’s military has been one of the sorriest and corrupt scandals to reach right here into our own backyard.

It was first exposed in the former Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Eric Nalder.

Later, it was given nationwide publicity by PBS television broadcaster and moralist Bill Moyers.

The 20-minute video of that broadcast some 11 years ago, called “A Private War,” is available on the internet at www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12192008/watch3.html.

Few of us could even comprehend the size of this enormous “rip off.”

But even that isn’t the end of the story because the crooks of that time even lobbied our own legislature to exempt all military housing from property tax rolls. That effectively dumped the tax load on everyone else and should give us all cause to pause.

The decency and honesty that made our nation great is at stake.

I was in our assessor’s office when the former assessor, a full blown Whidbey Navy veteran, came out of his cubicle hanging his head in despair as he announced the legislature’s new ruling.

How unfair is that to civilian property owners on our island? Every citizen with an ounce of good sense needs to pay attention to what government does behind our backs.

Start by reviewing Bill Moyers short exposé.

Al Williams

Oak Harbor

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