Northwest NEWS

September 27, 1999

Editorial

It's time for elected officials to wake up, listen to the people, and lower taxes

   A man walks into a store and robs it at gunpoint. He is caught and because of the brand-new "3 strikes you're out" law that the citizens of our state voted in, the criminal is sent to jail. His lawyer is upset. The lawyer says this is not what the citizens meant when they voted for this law.

   Yes, it was what we meant. Habitual criminals were constantly being set free by our court system and the citizens were fed up with it and changed the law. We wanted criminals off the street. Crime in our state, and every state that has adopted a similar law, has dropped as a direct result of this law being passed by the citizens.

   Now we have I-695, the $30 license tab initiative, and once again, we hear that we don't know what this will do if we pass this bill.

   Oh, quite the contrary. We live in one of the highest taxed states in the United States. We keep telling our elected officials to stop spending our money so freely and lower our taxes. A prime example is the Mariners ball field. The majority of citizens voted it down, but the government said we "didn't understand," and built it anyway.

   Not too long ago, the people who own businesses and the people who live in Woodinville told the City Council we did not want a utility tax. But the council had their minds made up before hearing the citizens speak and didn't listen to those that did speak. We now have a utility tax.

   Yes, we want our license tabs lowered. We want government to shrink. Since our elected officials are not listening to us, we want to start with lowering our license tabs and we want to decide whether or not to raise future taxes. We want government to live within our means.

   I can't believe that Kenmore is considering raising utility taxes to the legal limit before the vote on I-695. Do you think that maybe this is one more example of what the citizens are upset with?

   In a previous Letter to the Editor, James Clayton asked you to contact your elected officials regarding property taxes being so high. This is just one more example or our government not listening to us and why the citizens have to propose laws regarding tax increases.

   The County, to get around the current laws regarding tax increases, has chosen to raise the assessed value of your property to collect more tax money from you. They haven't raised the property tax, they just said your property is worth more so they can collect more property tax from you. How many people has this hurt? People that have lived on their land and in their homes for years now have taxes that are beyond their means.

   High taxes do not make Washington a good place to live. It just adds stress to our lives. People are what make a place a good place to be.

   It is time for all our elected officials at every level to wake up. Listen to the people--lower taxes. If they won't do it, the citizens have no choice but to continue to take control at the polls. If we don't, unless you are an heir of Bill Gates, be prepared to visit your grandchildren only on holidays, because they won't be able to afford to live here.

Kathryn Gordon, Woodinville