Northwest NEWS

October 25, 1999

Editorial

If I-695 passes, neither the world nor government will end

   I am in a very ironic position. I am writing to defend an initiative which I will be voting against, the initiative being I-695.

   In recent letters, both a Northshore School Board member and the Snohomish County assessor shared their informed opinions with the voters of the region.

   First, the Snohomish County Assessor stated that if I-695 passes, it automatically repeals the exemption of motor vehicles from being assessed as personal property. She flatly stated if I-695 passes, she must assess motor vehicles as personal property, according to the State Constitution. How spiteful can an elected official get? The will of the people will be damned.

   The Northshore School Board member is afraid of the potential changes that passage of I-695 will cause in the funding and delivery of the current full gambit of educational services. Is she saying that every program currently provided is essentially the district's primary mission? I think not.

   Both of these ladies are well meaning and did not recognize the message that they sent. The message from the assessor was, "I am going to get money from you one way or another." The school board member was saying we can't change our programs because all are essential to the educational process.

   Both ladies are playing right into the hands of the I-695 supporters. Both are sending a loud and clear message that the only thing worse than taxation without representation is taxation with representation.

   In reality, this initiative will pass without my vote. It will pass because the majority of the citizens are frustrated with the current tax structure and their current tax rates.

   Both sides of this issue have dealt fast and loose in efforts to "inform the public." The truth is neither the world nor government will come to an end when I-695 passes.

Paul Cowles, Bothell