County Council made the right decision regarding Brickworks
September 3, 2010 · 8:41 AM
County Council members Fralick and Peterson should not reconsider their votes on the Brickworks (Editorial, page 6, Sept. 1 Journal). Their decision was the right one for the taxpayers of the county.
One can completely understand why those who would benefit from this project would like the taxpayers to subsidize a major portion of the cost, and provide a reduced tax burden down the road by reducing the assessed value of the property. What local business — and yes, farming is a business — wouldn’t love to have the taxpayers pay a substantial portion of their rent? But every reduction in our tax base means that the difference must be made up by all the county’s taxpayers. Why should the taxpayers not only in Friday Harbor but on
Orcas, Lopez and all the other islands subsidize these businesses?
While I understand that some of the farmers prefer not to be at the fairgrounds, the fairgrounds are the right venue for an agricultural center, and their finances could really use the rental income and ease the burden on the taxpayers. Why should the county taxpayers support two agricultural venues in such a small area?
If the Brickworks project makes economic sense, it will make sense without the subsidy from the county’s taxpayers. If it doesn’t, it isn’t the right project for that space.