July 26, 2010 by staff
Analyst Forum, The issue has been the subject of news and letters to the editor, which has been discussed in forums organized by both the county and political groups, the issue has even been brought before the local chamber of commerce by individual county commissioners.
However, for many, both the initiative and can affect exactly how remains a source of confusion and discord. These are the nuts and bolts of Proposition 1 and how it may affect property taxes in 2011 and the years ahead.
The first year
On 25 May, the Board of Island County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution calling for voter approval for an increase in property taxes that generate and 2.05 million in 2011. Income, depending on the language of resolution, will be used for the purpose “limited to maintain public safety and other essential services, and, secondly, to begin to replenish the county’s contingency cash.”
Proposition 1 is acting to increase next year to the current contribution rate of expenditure, estimated at 59 cents per 1,000 and the appraised value for an additional 16 cents. While some people have advocated that the increase would take place every year until 2015, which is not the case, the Island County Assessor Dave Mattens said. It will only happen in 2011.
“You have to understand, the first year we’re just resetting the bar,” he said.
One of the most common misconceptions about property taxes is that the issuance of up and down the value of property the total amount a person owes. No, Mattens said. The tax rate is affected, but not how much you owe.
How much can you charge the county each year is limited in the previous year’s budget. It’s like filling a bucket, Mattens said. State law limits the increase of 1 percent each year without a vote of the public. Thus, while property values fluctuate, the amount of money that fits in the cube changes very little. The rate per 1,000 and the appraised value is the universal tool used for the collection.
Proposition 1, however, change the amount of people to pay because the purpose of increasing the size of the pan and about 2 million. But while county officials have argued for the increase is about and 40 for the owner of a property to 250,000, many of them crying poor, citing the example of what is misrepresentative, most people will pay.
The example chosen is the county median value of property in Island County. A median is the middle number in a series. According to figures from Mattens, most Island County 49 662 properties and 300,000 below the range: 26.2 percent between the fall and a yy 100 000, 21.5 percent between the fall and 100,000 200,000, and 22.5 percent between the fall and 200, and 000 to 300,000.
“That means that only 30 percent are above 300,000,” said Mattens. “That is very revealing.”
Others have argued, however, that people end up paying much more than county officials are pursuing. One of the biggest fears revolve around a provision incorporated in the proposal that would allow commissioners to increase its budget by more than the state allowed 1 percent between 2012 and 2015.
According to the resolution, the board has the option to approve the increase of 1 percent or the annual increase in consumer price index, a measure of the average change over time in prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of goods and consumer services. If the measure passes, the board could choose whichever is greater.
Dave Harrington, a resident of Oak Harbor, expressed concern at a recent forum sponsored by the county board proposal gives way too much power. If inflation point, the public would be at the mercy of the board, as it may adopt a rate increase that is limited only by the rate of new index.
“We may face significant inflation,” he said.
According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the annual rate increase has been more than 1 percent every year but once since 1992. The larger fluctuations in this period of time has been in the last two years, down from 0.6 percent in 2009 and a maximum of 4.2 percent in 2008.
Dan Jones, a statistician andanlyst rate in the assessor’s office, Harrington said the concerns are unfounded. If the measure passed and the rate was up 5 percent, that would mean a property owner to 250,000 would pay an additional 2 in the top 40 and the increase in the rate of 2011 of 75 cents per and 1000.
Others have argued that county officials are being less direct when in trouble, complaining that the one percent cap the state budget. Coupeville resident Gary Wray said in a recent forum that the county can increase its budget, on top of the rise of 1 percent per year, with revenues from new construction. State law allows the county to raise additional revenue from the development of new liabilities to accommodate growth.
“All of this is new construction is not adding,” Wray said.
“We’ve been getting more like a 4 percent a year,” said
Wray claims Mattens is using numbers that paint a distorted picture. While the county may have on the income of new construction, the numbers have not taken into account because they are “insignificant.” In 2010, revenues from new construction would add an estimated 51 376 and county coffers and the amount that could only be collected, should measure failed, he said.
But Wray, one of which the author of “against” the statement appears in the August ballot, said that even if all the concerns expressed about the index and the entry of new construction proved invalid, Proposition 1 follows requesting a rate increase without identifying spending priorities, which will allow the Board to fund the entire section chosen during a national recession.
If a tax increase is really as inevitable as the demand of the commissioners, the council should cut funding for programs and not the mandate of the departments of State first, for any amount proposed rate would be lower.
“I’m realistic, we get services from the county and we pay for it,” Wray said. “But they (the board) have not been creative enough to solve this problem.”
State law requires absentee ballots to voters no later than Thursday, July 29. Ballots can be mailed at any time until the election or voters may cast their ballots in elections for the Island County Office, 400 N. Main St. in Coupeville, between the hours of 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Thursday. The additional drop points to open only on election day, wei.secstate.wa.gov visit / island / Elections.
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