Letters to the Editor

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PROPOSITION 1: Typo is a fatal flaw

Letter by Mark L. Bubenik, Gig Harbor on Oct. 27, 2011 at 10:14 am | 11 Comments »
October 27, 2011 10:16 am

Re: “Prop. 1 text has a typo in tax number” (TNT, 10-22).

This front-page article told us that the wording for Prop. 1 on the ballot and voter pamphlet contains an inaccurate figure for the proposed countywide sales tax hike that would raise money for South Sound 911. While the ballot and voter pamphlet wording stated that the increase would be “one tenth of one percent” the numerical amount stated was 0.01 percent, which is not accurate. One tenth of one percent (which is the accurate amount of the increase) is 10 times greater than 0.01 percent.

In talking with several attorneys, it is believed that this error is a fatal flaw because unlike writing a check where the written amount takes precedence over the numbers written, a ballot measure must be clear and accurate. Some people, including myself grasp and remember numbers faster than we grasp and remember words. Therefore, there has to be total accuracy in what is stated in a ballot measure.

County officials need to acknowledge this mistake as being a fatal flaw and, if this measure passes, recognize that it is a waste of time and money to defend against a legal challenge. If the County desires to proceed with another similar ballot measure, most voters that I have talked with would like to see a sunset provision terminating the sales tax increase after the cost of the 911 capital costs for the improvements has been paid.

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