The purpose of Proposition 14-7 is to set aside a pool of money to be used exclusively within Benton County for the purchase of land from willing sellers (and only from willing sellers!). Lands would be used to protect vistas and open spaces that make our county special, to provide habitat protection for wildlife and to provide recreational and educational opportunities — all of which make our county the livable place it is now.
Some may oppose Proposition 14-7 because they are ideologically opposed to any new tax. But the increase in property taxes that would be created by this measure is small (6 ¼ cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value), working out to about $1/month for the average household in Benton County. This is a small increase for a huge return to our community, especially considering that the county would be eligible to receive matching funds from other agencies. Proposition 14-7 would be a local tax to benefit local citizens and all who visit our county.
A ‘yes’ vote for Proposition 14-7 is a vote for open space, wildlife habitat and maintaining the sweeping landscapes that make Benton County special. It’s our county and our future. We need to let the Commissioners know these things are important to those of us who live here.
— CARL BERKOWITZ, Richland