Something’s not right with how our tax dollars reach fire departments

Well, at a time when there are big layoffs, the cost of gas is going through the roof, the cost of groceries is out of sight, the governor is making toll roads out of I-5 and I-405, and with Highway 167 losing it’s HOV lane to only the people that can afford to buy a special permit, I find that merely asking for more money is pompous and out of touch with people struggling to pay their utilities and keep food on the table.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:00am
  • Opinion

Well, at a time when there are big layoffs, the cost of gas is going through the roof, the cost of groceries is out of sight, the governor is making toll roads out of I-5 and I-405, and with Highway 167 losing it’s HOV lane to only the people that can afford to buy a special permit, I find that merely asking for more money is pompous and out of touch with people struggling to pay their utilities and keep food on the table.

Look, firemen, show us where you have cut back everuything possible before hitting the property owners again. I haven’t done my homework, but this is how I see this situation: King County and Maple valley allocate funds from property taxes to run our fire departments. King County and Maple Valley say it is enough to meet everything the fire department needs. The fire department says it is not enough money and asks the property owners for more money.

The poor property owners did authorize them more money by taxing themselves all the law would allow. The fire department says that is still not enough and wants the people to vote to give them more than the law allows.

Why not just ask King County for more money? Seems to me the county has lots of tax money. Did they not give $100,000 of taxpayers’ money to the United Way charity this year? If King County has enough tax money to give it away, then they’ve got enough to support the fire department without having them asking me to raise my taxes again.

Look, people, if it’s only the property owners that have to pay this tax, then why do non-property owners get to vote on this issue?

Hitting the property taxes for more money should be the last resort. Show us where the fire chief went to King County first and proved to them that the county isn’t paying enough to run our fire departments. Show the taxpayer why they can’t operate under a budget allocated by King County.

I pay nearly $4,000 a year in just property taxes. So do all my neighbors. Perhaps the county needs to change its priorities on how it spends our money. I would think that fire protection and safety of our citizens need to be put ahead of grants, charities and council members’ pet projects..

It is a damn shame that the fire chief has to go begging to the poor to get enough money to operate.

I would suggest that we put this tax in a sales tax. This way, all people would help pay for the fire department that shop in King County. Or has that tax been abused by our politicians and it is so high people would just reject it?




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