Letter: Vote 'no' to Camas tax hike
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Camas residents should reject the emergency services levy the city of Camas proposes to boost EMS taxes significantly from 35 cents per $1,000 of property value for homes and businesses to 46 cents per $1,000 of value. This is estimated to boost Camas EMS funds from about $888,825 to $1,182,775 in the first year and grow for six years.
EMS salaries and especially benefits will grow the most under the plan. Many Camas families and businesses are facing tough budgets, and the city must learn to live within its means instead of raising tax rates.
Another reason to vote "no" is that the city failed to fulfill its legal duty to appoint a "no" committee for statements opposed to the tax hike in the voter's guide. State law RCW 29A.32.280 requires the city to formally appoint both pro and con committees for elections with voter pamphlets, no later than 45 days before pamphlet publication. The city readily acknowledged the "yes" committee of a retired city employee, the Washougal mayor, and another Camas resident. However, I believe no reasonable effort was made by the city to timely appoint a "no" committee, hence only pro statements appeared in the voter's guide.