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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM

King County: More taxes not answer to shortfall

Forget more taxes, let’s scrap the foot-ferries idea

King County Executive Kurt Triplett says we have to raise taxes to avoid closing 39 parks, public-health clinics and regional police services [“County exec: Tax needed to avoid closures,” NWSaturday, July 18].

I’ve got a better idea: How about funding those necessary services by shifting funds from the new $220 million foot-ferry fleet that King County wants to install on Lake Washington and Puget Sound [“The folly of foot ferries,” NWWednesday, Danny Westneat column, July 15]? The cost for a 30-minute walk-on ferry ride in that system is estimated at from $24 to $324 per rider. And that’s only one-way!

None of these planned routes are projected to attract more than 300 riders a day, even during the highest ridership period. King County throws precious taxpayer dollars at quixotic projects like this foot-ferry fleet, then comes whining to the taxpayer that, “We simply don’t have the money for public-health clinics and regional police services.”

— Frank Schumann, Seattle

Cut the nonessentials instead, taxes have already risen

King County Executive Kurt Triplett talks about supporting a property tax increase, but he fails to mention property taxes have already increased for the 2009 tax year. Council members Larry Gossett and Julia Patterson have proposed this bright idea.

The facts are that the value of my Shoreline home increased by 12.5 percent for the 2009 tax year despite the fact that property values decreased in 2008. The 2009 tax amount increased by 13.5 percent. Not a small jump, and I am certainly not in favor of another property-tax increase.

Increasing the sales tax is another bad idea. Visiting a shopping mall clearly indicates that people are limiting their spending for nonessentials. Those on unemployment have already tightened their belt more than once, so where does Triplett think the money will come from?

Maybe the King County Council should look at their budget and eliminate the nonessentials from their spending.

— Fran Whitehill, Shoreline

Comments | More in Economy, King County, King County Council, Recession, Taxes

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