New tax won’t make housing affordable | Letter

Our island (and the entire country) needs affordable housing but the REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) isn’t the way. Since when does adding a tax make something more affordable? It’s backwards! The REET will make housing less affordable, period.

I’m just guessing, but I bet all the do-gooders that are supporting this initiative are not thinking about buying or selling their own home anytime soon. It’s a clever way to look good and literally pass the buck.

The way to make housing more affordable is to make prices more attractive for buyers, builders and investors and the way to do that is to: A) fast track the permit process, as it’s awful here; B) cut regulations, as we are adopting California building codes and they have totally failed in California; and C) offer tax incentives to builders and buyers. Nobody with any business sense would build or buy spec housing here until it makes monetary sense.

Rikki Swin

San Juan Island