At some point — and the point may be coming very soon – islanders will have to decide whether we want any lower- or middle-income residents to be able to live on the islands.
Most islanders are, I expect, already aware of the high cost of housing and the challenge that represents for many non-wealthy residents. But with the tax bills that recently arrived from our friendly county and state officials, the cost of housing is now being increased by dramatic increases in our property tax burden. And the schools are seeking to continue or increase that burden.
Where will it end? The Seattle Times has reported that the significant tax increases are forcing some lower-income residents to move. If that hasn’t quite hit the islands yet, if we keep adding tax burdens it soon will.
Most of the tax increases are for good purposes, which makes it hard to vote no. But when we balance those good purposes with the increasing loss of lower-income residents, perhaps it’s time to start saying no.
Actions have consequences. When you take the action of voting on taxes, be sure you consider the consequences.
San Juan Island