Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No on Two Local Issues

With exactly a week before my ballot has to be back in the government's hands, I'm filling it out a bit faster now. So far I've voted yes on I-1185, I-1240 and SJR-8221, approved R-74 and voted no on I-502, SJR-8223, A-1 and A-2. Below are two local issues, one for the Port of Bellingham and one for the City of Bellingham.
NO on Port of Bellingham, Proposition 1, Number of Port Commissioners

The Issue: There are currently three Port of Bellingham Commissioners; this proposition would raise that number to five.

My Position: While the official argument for Prop-1 speaks of increased representation, this smells to me like an attempt to pack the commission. I can find no clear evidence for or against my hypothesis, but it still smells like a fish to me. Plus, Washington's open meetings law applies to one-on-one meetings of a three-member commission; it does not apply to one-on-one meetings of a five-member commission. That smells even fishier. I will be voting NO on the Port's Prop-1.

NO on City of Bellingham, Proposition 1, Low-Income Housing Levy

The Issue: City Council wants to raise property taxes by $36 per $100,000 of assessed value to fund a program for low-income housing.

My Position: I will be voting no on this tax increase, for three reasons:

1) An increase in the property tax will increase rent, and I don't want my rent to go up.

2) Trying to make housing more affordable by raising taxes on housing is just plain stupid. As the official "Statement Against" says, "You don't make housing more affordable by making it more expensive."

3) The state and federal governments already provide low-income housing subsidies, as well as other programs for low-income people. Do we really need yet another level of government doing the same thing as the others?

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