Commentary on 2023 property taxes

I should have stayed off the grid.

Editor’s note: This letter is being split into two parts; a second letter will be published in the March 8 edition.

Evaluation of property increased 27% across the board in my neighborhood so I didn’t worry too much because the area is also growing with new housing developments all over.

I figured the tax bill might even go down this year because of all this growth and more people chipping into the pot. However, yesterday I received my bill and it had gone up by over 13%. That will mean that I will be paying $635 per month for the privilege of living on property that was owned by my family for nearly 100 years.

My husband and I are retired and although I went to school in the Enumclaw school district the buildings my parents and I attended have been torn down and replaced by smaller and obviously inferior buildings because the district says they already need to be replaced. I didn’t return to Enumclaw again until we retired and I’m beginning to think we should have stayed “off the grid” in Alaska where we had no property tax. We’re receiving the same exact services here as we were there and we feel much less safe. Any service we use here we pay for outside of the property tax bill anyway.

I know we reap some benefits from educating other people’s children but then again most of the families I know are home schooling their children because they don’t like what is being taught at school. School buses run all over the area but with hardly any students on them because “Mom” drives everyone to school now and you can tell because the roads are choked by these cars every morning and afternoon with a steady stream of cars pulling through the school yards.

I’m a firm believer that students should be utilizing the busses which would be much more efficient than Mom wasting her time and gas on top of paying her property tax which provides that same service. Fifty seven percent of our property taxes are now going to schools according to the chart sent out with our tax bill. Should it cost me over $300 per month to educate someone else’s children? I’m certainly happy that the school bond just failed.

When I grew up we went to three-tory schools which probably kept us safer and more condensed so it was easier to heat. We had a girl’s gym as well as a boy’s gym, a band room and chorus room, a cafeteria and a fantastic auditorium complete with a balcony and property taxes were not unreasonable. But someone thought they were old and unsafe so they had to hire a wrecking ball to break them up (seems they were not as decrepit as they thought). Now they want those things back and on a grander scale – guess they should have kept what they had.

Carol Linger