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also read: Vote NO on County Sales Tax Increase!
STATEMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 1 -- SEATTLE PARK LEVY
On November 7, 2000 -- vote NO -- Proposition 1, Seattle's $198,200,000 Park levy.
This park levy's "wish list" is too long and too expensive. Ordinance 120024 concedes that " the current general fund . does not provide sufficient resources to implement all of the recommendations called for in the plans ." Nevertheless, Seattle's elected officials are determined to implement this bloated "second-to-none" park levy - regardless of cost - taxing property owners $25 million a year for eight years in addition to the Park Department's fixed $55.5 million annual budget. That's a total of $644 million for parks over the next eight years.
This pervasive ploy of submitting levies and bond measures to the electorate has served our elected officials exceedingly well. Their argument, which implies voters are taxing only themselves, is misleading. In reality, all of Seattle's property owners will be subject to the additional taxation on the "Yes" votes of as few as one-third of Seattle's registered voters. Only voting NO can stop this ploy.
Proposition 1 also helps expose another self-serving bureaucratic scheme. "Voter approved" levies and bond measures which fund major projects, essentially relieve Seattle's officials of their responsibility for resulting property tax increases. Consequently, they hold themselves blameless for any rental increases "passed-on" to homes, apartments, retail and commercial properties.
It cannot be repeated often enough: Only Seattle's property owners will bear the entire public cost of Proposition 1. It is an unfair and unjustified tax.
Seattle Proposition 1 -- Vote NO
Many critical elements could have been financed with councilmanic bonds, which are intended for unforeseen critical needs. More importantly they don't require voter approval to be used. Unfortunately, the City's $650 million "credit card" was "maxed-out" by our elected officials on their own "pet" projects. There was very little left on the "card" for any part of this complex park levy.
A current City "pet" project is the $226 million City Hall and Civic Center complex, funded by these same councilmanic bonds. Seattle's elected officials have obviously concluded "pet" projects come first when deciding their funding priorities.
The only vote Proposition 1 deserves is -- NO.
The City's philosophy for initiating projects is fatally flawed. In this case, if this "park" is funded by this levy for only eight years, how will programs produced by it be sustained afterward? Another levy in 2008? Forever more?
REBUTTAL OF "STATEMENT FOR" PROPOSITION 1
There is something hypnotically compelling about Seattle's Park Proposition 1, which offers something for everyone. When reality sets in, voting NO is the only sensible option, considering the proposition's several adverse consequences.
NEGLECT. Seattle's park system is already woefully neglected. Giving the City an even larger system to neglect simply doesn't make any sense. Where will the City get the additional required funds for the new enhanced park system, when funding from this levy runs out? Another levy?
LIABILITY. All of Seattle's property owners will be unfairly taxed by the "YES" vote of as few as one-third of Seattle's registered voters. In effect, Proposition 1 will have released Seattle's officials of any responsibility for this tax.
TAX BASE. Every Proposition 1 purchase of land for parks, trails and open spaces will remove property from the tax rolls, forcing Seattle's remaining property owners to make up the tax deficit.
BOB HEGAMIN ( Email: email@example.com )
THE TWO-TENTHS OF ONE PER CENT SALES TAX INCREASE
There is an unrelenting fiscal assault on the people of Seattle. This year we are facing the possibility of three new property taxes and a sales tax for METRO. Voters in the primary have already passed two submitted County property tax measures. King County's Proposition 1 (0.2% tax increase) and Seattle's Proposition 1 ($198 million Park Levy) will be on the "2000" general election ballot.
In 2001, Seattleites will be facing the prospect of a $398 million property tax school levy and a 6% property tax levy for the City's transportation needs, with still another 6% property tax transportation levy in 2002. But, what about this year's sales tax increase?
The following is a statement against King County Proposition 1 -- 0.2% sales tax increase.
Proposition 1 will add two-tenths of one percent to the six-tenths of one percent sales tax Metro already receives - an annual $80 million increase. What the proposition ignores, however, is the fact that the "$30 license tab" part of Initiative 695 is now state law. Every level of government statewide must reconcile itself to reduced revenues from the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) and accordingly, to control its spending. King County, unwilling to cut its $2.6 Billion budget, intends instead to meet its revenue demands by increasing the sales tax.
Devising tax schemes has become an obsession with King County's elected officials as they continue their spending spree, meanwhile blaming their bothersome financial shortages on I-695. Facetiously, for example:
- If you drive, they tax the street; If you sit, they tax your seat;
- If you're cold, they tax your heat; If you walk, they tax your feet;
- When you're taxed to the max, they will tax your tax.
Unconscionably, this proposed Metro subsidy will hike our regressive, unfair sales tax. This year alone 3.44 Billion in state sales taxes will be collected within King County, and will increase significantly as the price of goods and services rise.
Enough is enough. Vote NO on Proposition 1.
· Metro currently receives $240 million annually from the state sales tax.
· Proposition 1 isn't about maintaining present transit operations, but a major expensive overhaul of Metro.
· The County's answer to Metro's problems has always been to tax and spend more. It did not provide solutions then and it certainly will not now.
· Once voted, Proposition 1 is an $80 million per year tax increase -- forever and ever.
Vote NO -- November 7.
Two pervasive ploys of submitting levies and bond measures to the electorate have served our elected officials exceedingly well. In Seattle, the first suggests that voters are taxing only themselves, which is misleading. In reality, all of Seattle's property owners are actually being subjected to additional taxation on the "Yes" votes of as few as one-third of Seattle's registered voters. Only voting NO can stop this ploy. The second is that "Voter approved" levies and bond measures essentially relieve Seattle's officials of their responsibility for resulting property tax increases. Consequently, they hold themselves blameless for any rent increases "passed-on" to homes, apartments, retail and commercial properties. Not if taxpayers vote NO on Proposition 1.
BOB HEGAMIN ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
FRED BUCKE ( Website: http://listen.to/politicalintegrity )
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