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Crosscut: Property tax initiative is starving rural counties

Reporter David Kroman has written an important story in Crosscut about how even the reddest Washington communities are suffering from an Tim Eyman initiative that caps property tax at 1 percent growth. Urban jurisdictions such as Seattle can generate other types of revenue to keep up with inflation, which impacts governmental services as much as everything else. Not so with rural areas such as Lincoln County, which has faced steady cutbacks even though the services it has offered were pretty bare boned to begin with. The cuts are a direct result of the 1 percent cap, which was passed by Washington state voters in 2001.

Why is this important to urban Washingtonians? Aside from basic political ethics — we’re all in this together — it represents a potential political alliance. Republican elected leaders in heavily impacted rural counties understand first hand the financial unsustainability of the 1 percent cap.


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