The TCH reported mayors are bedeviled by miserly constituents they are elected to represent (“Tri-City mayors study how to serve growing population,” June 1). Kennewick Mayor Steve Young is kept awake at night by the apocalyptic views of Tri-Citians regarding his insatiable thirst for new taxes.
With only three exceptions — aquatics center, Kennewick convention center (non-governmental functions) and the ill-conceived Pasco school bond — Tri-City voters have adopted every new tax (transit, 0.6 percent sales tax; criminal justice, 0.3 percent sales tax; and school bonds/levies, fire district levies, etc.) placed before them. As a result, Tri-City residents have the fifth-highest sales tax rate in the state. Pasco School District has the second-highest tax rate of Washington’s 295 districts.
Mayor Young should be aware that increased growth significantly increases his tax dollar piggy bank (new home/building property taxes, sales taxes, etc.).
The real monsters under his bed should be easy to see. The public’s frightful need for lower taxes to spend at our local businesses and on our families. Better yet, the ghoulish inefficiencies of our public agencies, and outrageous compensation packages for their administrative staffs.
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Mayors need to figure a way to use existing tax revenue much more effectively, and not yell zombie! every time they want higher taxes.
Roger Erich Lenk, Franklin County