It's time to get real about the levy lid lift

How do you like me now? Islanders are supposed to use their vote on the county levy lid lift as an assessment tool of the county council's performance. 


That was the rationale when a previous council presented the original six-year levy lid lift to the voters in 2009.  Instead of a request for what was needed -a permanent levy lid lift - they gave the citizens a list of popular county services that would be cut if the ballot measure failed.

Nervous about the vote, the council decided to limit the levy lid lift to six years.Their rationale was a request six years hence would serve as a "report card". A yes vote would indicate the voters approved of the council's performance.

This of course is nonsense. The voters see their favorite programs on the chopping block and are told they can save them by voting yes. 

Rather than a report card, the vote is more of a referendum on the popularity of the listed programs  which include  parks, senior services, 4-H, WSU extension and more.

In Washington state, counties and municipalities are limited to a one percent increase in tax revenue each year.  Obviously, expenses rise more rapidly and every so often a levy lid lift is necessary. San Juan County has the lowest property tax rates in the state and still will if the levy lid lift is approved. 

The council should have made their case and requested a permanent levy so we could avoid this farce six years from now. The levy lid lift is necessary. And if all goes well voters won't be confused by the fact they just did this six years ago.  

This nonsense about providing a grading tool is insulting to the voters and should be embarrassing to the county  leaders.

The public already has an assessment tool, it's called the election process. 


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