Opinion

Guest Column

Bureaucratic solution: Tax the suckers

guest column by Wally Buscher, Woodinville
Having followed the attempts at restoration of our mud hole called Cottage Lake over the past few years, it is interesting to see again how willing people are to surrender their pocketbook for the sake of being able to say, "Well, I became involved and tried to help."
    The recent article on page one of the Oct. 23 issue of the Woodinville Weekly points out the typical bureaucratic solution to all our problems: "Let's tax the suckers."
    The creation of a Lake Management District (LMD) is just another fancy name for another tax. Every person that lives on or near the lake now is taxed for waterfront property already.
    The 125 homes in the Cottage Lake Beach Club are taxed an extra amount for having beach access. What is that money going for now? Shouldn't the people that collect taxes take care of the taxable asset?
    Those same people now have two parks on that same lake so their interests are greater enhanced than before.
    You can bet they are not paying taxes on the park property, and any assessments against owners by any LMD would most likely find that the park is not included, which would cause all of our shares to increase.
    In short, we would be paying for county (free) parks.
    The reality of the matter has been well-stated in the WeeklyÕs article: Cottage Lake is dead. It has been dying for the last two hundred or so years.
    That is what has formed the Basset property that now belongs to the Park system also.
    Perhaps some 1,100 years ago, if you believe the government geologist, there was considerable earthquake activity. Perhaps at that time Cottage Lake sank and formed the basin of the lake.
    The fact is there is not enough water flowing into the lake to maintain circulation. Nor is there the right kind of animal life for the vegetation problem.
    Certainly you cannot send a message to the honkers and ducks that like our lake, but my old 97 Winchester could. Oh well, the environmentalists wouldn't like that, either.
    Certainly you cannot make additional streams to run into the lake, but you could float pumps in the water that would give a nice fountain effect and thereby improve the circulation and aerate the bottom of the lake to a greater degree.
    The only certain element of the LMD is that once that taxing asset is in place, it will never be relinquished.
    In addition, it would be the first step in FORCING the area to have a sewer district (more taxes) and we would all be forced to connect to that sewer at a cost of somewhere around $5,000-$6,000 per home (more for those that live farther from the sewer line), plus lifting pumps. And the costs escalate from there.
    I believe it would be correct in calculating that the $847,500 initial five-year budget or $169,000 per year, would be $50,000 each for three administrators (bureaucrats) and $19,000 for the actual lake preservation.
    Do we need this? Hell no!
    Will it solve our problem? Hell no!
    Do we want to save our lake? Hell yes!
    We have to realize that the demise of the lake is a certainty, devoid of a complete geographic remake of the area. We can only slow the process.
    We do not need people coming to our public meetings and telling us about some damn weed. Nature is much wiser than the combined well-meaning intent of all the people, including the bureaucrats at Surface Water Management and the Dept. of Ecology.
    Through inductive thought process and research into other fish life that feeds off these plants and perhaps a few pumps featuring artistic water sprays, we can solve this problem ourselves.
    We do not need the bureaucrats from downtown taking our money by means of another tax. This affects everyone living in the area, not only those on Cottage Lake, but those in Rolling Hills, and everything that can be considered as flowing into Cottage Lake, such as Reintree and similar developments.
    ItÕs time to wake up!