Editor’s note: This is the second part of the letter, “Commentary on 2023 property taxes”, published March 1.
What else are we paying for with our property taxes besides education which I discussed earlier? Well, King County has been encouraging people to put their lands in “conservation” which reduces their property taxes and turning vacant property into wetlands at a very high rate in our neighborhood. When you see crews parked in vacant fields carrying “sticks” out to “plant” into the open fields you know another piece of property has been removed from the tax rolls. You should also realize by now if you are paying attention that the neighboring property to that will soon become flooded, vacant and have the same fate befall it. Acres of productive land has been ruined in the last few years through this practice and now roads are also deteriorating due to the change in the water table. Not only are these lands removed from the tax base but it is costing the remaining tax payers a fortune to make “wetlands” out of previously productive land using their methods. Doesn’t the county realize that unused fields very quickly revert to nature by themselves in this climate? The early settlers must be rolling over in their graves after all the work they did to make the plateau into a beautiful, productive farming community.
Moving on – the county also bought up motels and hotels to house the homeless but now they’re sitting empty so not only are they off the tax rolls but serving no purpose at all and probably costing us all a lot of money to heat so they don’t deteriorate. As we learned recently, they were also contaminated with Meth (probably by squatters while the property was vacant) and we are now paying for decontamination, which does not come cheap. I’m not sure that’s at all cost effective – probably cheaper and safer to burn them down. They will only turn into dumps again very soon anyway. Crime is forcing businesses to close all over the county so there’s more property off the rolls and that also means no sales taxes are coming into the county coffers either. Twelve billion dollars for homeless over five years? Some say that’s $800,000 per homeless person. As if money will do anything to solve the problem.
Sorry – my family raised me to take care of myself and I passed that on to my children. I refuse to contribute to aiding and abetting poor behavior. If everyone was forced to follow the laws already on the books we would have no homeless sleeping on the streets, there would be people to fill all the job openings posted, land would be used to raise food not brush, and students would be riding the bus like I did so Mom could be productive and not wasting time and gas.