March 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM
King County officials look to raise taxes without voter approval
Regressive taxes are not the solution
On Feb. 28, The Seattle Times reported on legislation proposed by King County officials allowing the county to raise the local sales tax without voter approval [“County seeks right to raise tax without vote,” NWThursday]. Extra revenue generated from a potential sales-tax increase would support public safety and human services.
King County has a problem. The cost of maintaining vital service levels goes up every year, yet voters reliably reject sales and property tax increases, and there is no state income tax. We are still in desperate need of more revenue, specifically to fund public safety. My concern is that raising the sales tax addresses the wrong component of a larger issue.
I begrudgingly supported an increase in sales tax in the past because I felt that my hands were tied. King County officials must be feeling the same way now, as bypassing the vote on a contentious topic is bound to ruffle some feathers.
I am disappointed that such a drastic measure is being taken not in the name of a long-term solution, but instead an action that perpetuates our notoriously regressive tax system that hurts the middle class and poor.
Ruffle feathers if you must, but make sure it’s worthwhile.
–Erin Prendergast, Seattle
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