Northwest NEWS

January 17, 2000

Editorial

State's property tax relief will be too little, too late

   One doesn't have to wonder long to figure out why Proposition 695, which rolled back automobile license fees, passed. It was quite evident the people of Washington were fed up with the high fees charged for the privilege or need to drive.

   Ever since we began recovering from the Washington recesion of the early '70s, this state has continually raised taxes as if there were no bottom to our pockets, and even though state revenues have shown surpluses over the years, none of this money has been returned to the people in the form of tax relief, as promised. The state government just keeps growing and spending, year after year.

   Washington is presently in a similar situation as California was in 1973, before its Proposition 13 was passed, which reduced property taxes substantially. Over a period of about 20 years, California kept raising property taxes, based on the buyer's market, until taxes had increased some 700 percent, causing many older citizens and young couples to give up on their American Dream. Sound familiar?

   Washington property taxes have again been raised for the year 2000, and there is presently a petition in circulation for lowering property taxes. The state claims that if the people hold off voting on the proposition, if it ever materializes, that they will, over a period of time, lower property taxes. We all know that any property tax relief offered by the state will be too little and too late.

   The state claims, just as California did, that if such a proposition passes, it will bankrupt the state, yet California is doing just as well as ever, because it allocates and spends its revenue wisely. It is time Washington citizens reminded their state government that ours is still a government of the people and not the other way around.

Max Ankele, Woodinville