MAY 19, 1997

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Opinion

Still no children's swings or green lawns

admission tax I have been reading the paper from front to back since I moved here nine years ago. My point: Did anyone notice the article in the April 28th issue regarding the proposed admission tax of up to 5% that may be levied soon in Woodinville? It states, "The tax would affect admission charges to any place, with the exception of activities at elementary and secondary schools."
   It was suggested that the revenue be dedicated to the parks and recreation department. Another suggestion was for a portion to go to trails. How can they tax us with no real destination for the money or goal in mind?
   Doesn't the city and/or county already have money earmarked for parks and recreation and trails? Why should we pay 5% more to go to the new movie theater in our own town? As with all taxes, it will increase in time to cover more things the city wants to pay for. Pretty soon it will cost $1 more per child for the Friday night movies than at Lynnwood or Redmond cinemas. At that point, if you have three or more people going, it may be cheaper to go out of town for the movies.
   And how can the city tax us without asking us first? And how do we know what exactly this tax will go to and where it will end? We have some of the highest taxes for any area in Washington and still no swings for my children to play on and no green lawn with picnic tables and shade to relax in. Oh sure, these can be found about 25 minutes away! It would have been wonderful to have them right in the downtown area for those who like to walk (all this talk about making Woodinville a walker-friendly town) instead of having a drive-through town to the park in someone else's town.
   I object to the proposal of a "tax" to "maybe" use for parks and recreation or "maybe" trails without even asking what we want. I object to a tax that opens the door to more and bigger generalized taxation without a set object and dollar amount. I don't know much about how government works, but this smacks of taxation without representation.

Joan Atlas, Woodinville