The upcoming November election includes Resolution 20-2022 which requests that the road levy authorization be increased from .56 cents to $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of 79%. In addition, this past week most property owners should have received a notice of a change in value for their property for tax year 2023. In our case, the increase in value the county has placed upon our property on a one year, year over year basis was +47.5%. Last year our road tax line item was $1,262. We reached out to the County Assessor’s office and were told the combination of the increase in assessed valuation plus the increase in the road tax (if passed) could together result in our bill for this line item increasing to as much as $3,352, a combined increase of 265%.
A further concern about this Resolution which we would like to raise is why road maintenance and improvement should be determined by home values in the first place. While we can all agree that road maintenance is of importance to everyone in the San Juan Islands, a much more appropriate and, for that matter, fair means of taxation is at the gasoline pump. Those who drive more should be expected to pay more for usage of the roads than those who drive less. In the case of electric vehicles, an annual fee could serve the same end in much the same way that annual licensing fees for our automobiles and trucks are imposed. That’s an initiative we could whole heartedly support.
It is our view that Resolution 20-2022 is the functional equivalent of a flat tire and merits a vote of “NO” on election day.
Barbara and Steve Spence