Extreme measure will hurt important local services

Voters should make no mistake about it; Initiative 747 is an extreme measured that does not even allow local government to keep up with inflation. A 1 percent cap on property taxes means that with inflation running at 3 percent or 4 percent, the difference is a cut.

Initiative 747 is a direct assault on the quality and availability of services we have all come to appreciate. Services such as fire protection, libraries, hospitals, roads and emergency services will be severely impacted.

At Snohomish County, 69 percent of the proposed 2002 budget is devoted to criminal justice. That means deputy sheriffs, prosecutors, the courts and the county jail. Cuts in those areas mean our communities are not quite as safe.

In our fire districts and Sno-Isle Library District, better than 95 percent of their revenue comes from property taxes. A 2 percent to 3 percent cut in revenue each year means our firefighters are put at risk and library hours may become shorter.

Don’t be fooled into believing that the same level of fire, police and other county and city services will not be affected if I-747 passes. Tim Eyman hatched this initiative not through some well-thought-out process or study, but as a punitive response to those politicians who dared to question his arithmetic and oppose his initiatives. Through his choice of residing in Snohomish County he must care a little bit about the quality of life in the area he lives in – he’s just not willing to pay for it.

Mukilteo

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