Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: 911 tax


911: Pierce County’s padding the bill

From the Pierce County voters’ pamphlet, one would think the 911 sales tax hike will be used only to upgrade radios. It is also about two new buildings and a lot of extra money.

The radios will cost $30 million, according to the County Council. The tax was estimated to produce $295 million, almost 10 times more. Why an extra $265 million?

The major cost is two new buildings – one for police dispatchers and one for fire/EMS. When I dig a little deeper, I find that there is a significant pay disparity between police and fire/EMS dispatchers, and no

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911: Proposition 1 is limited to life of the bonds

Opponents of Proposition 1, which creates a seamless countywide emergency communications system called South Sound 911, are making lots of incorrect claims.

Let’s set the record straight.

CLAIM: This is a permanent tax.
FACT: As a member of your Pierce County Council, I sponsored the amendment that placed an air-tight “sunset clause” on the sales tax increase. The one-tenth of one percent sales tax will expire in 25 years, after the construction bonds are paid off. It would take voter approval to renew it.

CLAIM: The government will “quietly” shift this tax to other areas after the capital needs

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PROPOSITION 1: Failure to explain

I just finished reading my voters pamphlet about Prop. 1. It continues to amaze me how people that want to spend our money and raise our taxes will leave things out and tell half truths when they attempt to explain the need. They must think that voters are stupid.

They fail to explain that money was received from the Federal Government a few years back to upgrade the very thing they are trying to raise our taxes for now. They fail to explain that that money was spent to make the LESA director’s office, conference rooms and lounges extremely comfortable.


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911: Are taxpayers being scammed?

As a retired volunteer fire fighter and EMT, I definitely believe in the 911 system, but I don’t support the new 911 tax. Why? Because I think we are being scammed!

This “just one tenth of a percent” sales and use tax joins all the other “just one tenth of a percent” taxes,  and would be in addition to the Washington state 911 tax and the Pierce County 911 surcharge we already pay on our home telephone and cell phone bills.

The voters pamphlet states that the proposed tax is only for the 911 upgrade, but how hard would that

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911: Tax math adds up to too much

Re: “911 tax to go to voters” (TNT, 7-27).

Does the Pierce Count Council really think we need to spend $300 million on a 911 tax? As I read the article on the proposed new tax, I thought I misread it. So I had to read it again and really could not believe what I was reading.

The council voted 5-2 to put the sales tax increase on the November ballot after limiting the tax to 25 years. They said the tax should raise $12 million a year.

Let’s do the math: 25 x $12 million = $300 million.

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TAXES: Should we pick and choose the taxes to pay?

Re: “Regressive sales tax hurts low-income families” (letter, 7-24).

This letter illustrates how uneducated citizens are about taxes.

The writer complains that taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to pay more for services that most people don’t use. Using that logic, since most people don’t call fire or police for emergency help, perhaps we should eliminate that service altogether. Let people who are more likely to use that service pay for it exclusively.

I have no children, yet I pay increasingly higher property taxes for our local schools. Do I get a rebate from the county? If families elect to have children,

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911: Take the time to get all the facts

Re: “County 911 tax resisted” (TNT, 7-6).

Here’s another unfunded mandate from the federal government. They say we must upgrade our emergency radio systems to meet a 2013 deadline. And they say this new system will bring police and fire dispatchers into one agency on a single radio system. Yet two new dispatch centers are being built, one for law enforcement and the other for fire.

There are always underlying issues that the public doesn’t know about. One example is when the citizens of Edgewood voted to annex to East Pierce Fire District. One of the things that a lot

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911: Explain why new facilities are needed

Pierce County leaders are proposing to increase the sales tax to pay for an upgraded countywide 911 dispatch agency. The new revenue would pay for two new facilities, upgraded communication hardware and a new data network. The purpose is to allow police and firefighters to more easily talk to each other.

Before putting such a proposal before the voters, those leaders need to finish the job. Explain to the voters why, with dispatch centers already operating in the county, two completely new facilities are required.

Will this project equitably benefit the entire county and its communities, and if not, why

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