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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
October 21, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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October 21, 2009

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A8 WEDNESDA~ OCTOBER 21~ 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS I( 9 By Warren Kagarise and Chantelle Lusebriak Issaquah Press reporters Washington voters will decide between now and Nov. 3 whether to cap property taxes and add additional protections for county conservation land. Voters are also asked whether to extend the fights of married spouses the way government grows." Local 1-1033 opponents said the measure would force deep service cuts. 1-1033 "puts governments into a financial hole from which they can't get out as the economy improves," Mayor Ave Frisinger said. Issaquah municipal government would take a $1.1 million hit by 2011 if the initiative passes, she to same-sex partners and to update said. The drop in revenue could language in the county charter, cause the city to lay off 17 or 18 The statewide property tax meas- employees, she said. Officials laid ure has attracted the most attention from Issaquah municipal and school district officials. Initiative 1033 would limit the growth of city, county and state revenue to intta- lion and population growth, not including voter-approved revenue. Any revenue above the 1-1033- mandated cap would be used to lower property taxes. Activist Tim Eyman -- known for past tax-busting efforts -- led the push to get the measure on the ballot. "We're not reducing property taxes by making government smaller, Eyman said. We re reducing property taxes by limiting off 10 city workers last month. City Council members passed a unanimous resolution Oct. 5 to Look back on the campaign sea- son with election coverage from The Issaquah Press. Read candi- date profiles; learn the issues in City Council, school board and county executive races; decode the nuances of county and state ballot issues; and find out how candidates drafted family mem- bers as campaign workers, all at www.issaquahpress.com/cate- gory/election. oppose 1-1033. Councilman Fred going to be cutting more and more." Butler called 1-1033 "a bad idea at Munn said education reform and the wrong time." the money to pay for it would stall, Estimates show the Issaquah making school districts less likely School District could lose $38.9 to reach goals and objectives set by million by 2015. The school board state and federal governments. and the district's PTSA Council "We are going, to stall for five oppose the tax measure, years, then put all of our efforts into "I think the results for 1033 won't be seen immediately," said Kelly Munn, a district parent and educa- tion advocate. "It is going to be a slow, hard march downhill for Issaquah, and year by year we are Soptich said he and his staff are concerned about the losses I:1033 could spur. EFR provides fire protection and emergency response to Issaquah, Sammamish, North Bend, Carnation and parts of unincorpo- rated King County. "My professional opinion is that this will be the death nail for sew- ices," Soptich said. running another bill to rescind it," Eyman dismissed scenarios pre- she said. We have to change the dicted by local officials as pre- initiative process. This is no longer election hysteria. He pointed to I- working. No one wants to pay taxes, 747: In 2001, voters passed the but everyone wants services." measure to limit annual property Eastside Fire & Rescue Chief Lee tax increases to 1 percent. Elected officials said the cap would force dramatic service cuts. After the measure passed, Eyman said, gov- ernments adapted to the new limit. Courts later declared the meas- ure unconstitutional. In 2007, however, the Legislature reinstated the I percent cap. If governments can work within the framework of the 1 percent cap, Eyman said, the proposed measure amounts to "us protecting ourselves from us." Lambert said the amendment would mean more than 90 desig- nated properties would be "extra- extra-extra protected." The measure would not enable the County Council to buy more land or spend taxpayer money. The council voted 9-0 to send the meas- ure to voters. In addition to the limit should be workable as well. County Council, the Issaquah Alps "We're going to give them a much Trails Club and Issaquah higher limit: the rate of inflation and Environmental Council endorsed population growth," he said. the Open Space Amendment. No King County voters will also decide organized opposition to the whether to add the Open Space amendment has materialized. Amendment to the county charter. Terry Lavender, co-chairwoman The item would strengthen protec, of Yes on the Open Space tions for county land along Issaquah Amendment, said it would lay the Creek, parts of Cougar and Squak groundwork for notices and hear- moun Si and dozens of other nat- ings if officials sought to change ural areas throughout King County. the status of a protected site. If voters approve, protected properties could only be sold by a supermajority vote of the King County Council. County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, who represents Issaquah, said although officials had no inten- tion of selling the properties, the "We all believe it's protected," Lavender said. "The reality is, the protections could be undone." In addition to the Open Space Amendment, King County voters will decide three other charter amend- ments, or housekeeping measures to update the governing document. l I I I I I I I I I I =.-- $3. O0 OFF ANY t2" f6 " OR 18" PIZZA Carry out or delivery. 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