Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

911: Regressive sales tax hurts low-income families

Letter by George Frey, Puyallup on July 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm | 49 Comments »
July 18, 2011 2:23 pm

We pay 9.3 percent in sales tax in Pierce County. Pierce Transit asked for a .3 percent increase earlier this year, which was rejected. Now we are going to be asked for a .1 percent increase to create a combined 911 dispatching agency and upgrade the police and fire radio system.

This is posed as just one cent on a $10 purchase. They forget about the 93 cents we are already paying on that $10 purchase.

We already pay 70 cents a month per phone line for Pierce County 911 support. What is the cost of this new program? How long will it take to pay for this enhanced system? Will they remove the .1 percent once it is paid for, or will this just flow to the general fund?

There is a limit to how much we have to support local government and community services. If the Pierce Transit proposition had passed, we would be at 9.6 percent, and the 911 proposition would put us at 9.7 percent. Next year there will be another proposition or two asking for more funds.

Most of us aren’t seeing any increases in our income. We can’t continue to pay more for services that many of us don’t use.

The sales tax is a regressive tax. It puts an increased burden on low-income families. Is there a cap on how much we are going to be asked to pay?  The more we pay in taxes, the fewer dollars we have to spend on goods that help build the economy.

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