The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Everett


Ways to fix debt, improve openness

Times are tense for residents and workers in Everett. The following are suggestions to increase transparency during the budgeting process and suggestions for sustainability and fiscal strength.
To increase transparency, institute the following policy: If four or more council members congregate to discuss an agenda item, notes must be submitted to the official record on what was discussed. Additionally, the city should bring back the budgetary committee. Be transparent about where the money, such as car fees, will be appropriated.
Suggestions for increasing revenue include: Accept credit card donations to Jetty Island and the animal farm; ease payments for library late fees with online options; allow Tier 2 and Tier 3 pot growers and distributors and institute a city fee, bring fees to par with other cities; end payments to the “rainy day fund.” In-depth considerations — conduct a cost-benefit analysis of payments to Comcast Arena's debt, and study the regressive structure of the proposed tax burden by comparing the proposed increase to the state average of the ratio of tax to income. Also, if the cap on property tax is crippling our city and others, present evidence to Olympia and ask for a legislative solution. Finally, ask Boeing to pay a fair tax rate, on sales and new construction.
Like many, I don't want to see a loss of staff or services, and I understand it's time to make important decisions. We need leadership to not only bring us out of this debt but prevent it in the future.
Megan Dunn
Everett
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

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