Voting Against the Port TaxNovember 6th, 2007 by Steven Gardner
If you are to believe those on the losing side of tax levies since last year, the tax the port passed is still affecting other tax measures. They brought it up when South Kitsap’s school bond failed. The library bond failed, the port became a question.
If tax boosters are right, residents didn’t get to vote on the port’s Industrial Development District tax to build the marina, so they’re voting against it now every chance they get.
Tonight, Bremerton City Councilman Will Maupin said the IDD tax not only affected Bremerton’s parks levy, it affected his own margin of victory. He’s winning his race with a 53-47 margin against former councilman Eric Younger.
“I guess it’s just that it’s just that there is always the feeling because of the unrest in property taxes and the port tax and the feeling that we need to make a change, that somebody else might be looking out for my well being or my property taxes more.”
You can draw attention to the fact that the other incumbent running in Bremerton, Dianne Robinson, won handily. But Robinson ran against a first-time candidate with no history on the council and a short history in the city. Maupin’s opponent, Eric Younger, does have experience on the dais and has stark differences with the incumbent.
Maupin might have a point on his own race, but that the port tax may have had an impact on Tuesday’s parks levy is easily more believable.
“I thought that when we first put that on the ballot that we had built up enough good will in the city that citizens were willing to invest some of their money in the Bremerton redevelopment. I think the port tax was an issue that didn’t die. It built up an unhappiness. I heard that over and over again as I was doorbelling and I think that’s what doomed our parks levy.”
The question then becomes how it will affect the city’s move to boost car tab fees to pay for roads. In pre-election debates all Bremerton council candidates said they favored putting a $20 boost in car tabs on the ballot. Maupin said Tuesday’s parks levy defeat will impact how the council moves forward with the street issue, but perhaps not substantially.
“It’s going to have some effect on our decision-making process, but I think the process is still what we planned all along. We’ll have a very vigorous public information campaign and see if we have support for $20 car tabs in order to support street repair.”
If all this is true and I’m running any government agency with an ability to ask voters for money, I’ve got to wonder if I would instead conspire to make do until the hangover from the port tax wears off, assuming people really are still voting against it.
If they are, when will it stop?