On Tuesday, November 12, the Centralia City Council voted (4-3) to not raise the property tax levy. I was joined by Councilmember Luond, McGee, and Barnes to hold the line on tax increases.
I have voted against every unnecessary tax increase since first being elected in 2015. This is a policy statement, not a political statement.
Our city is seeing increased revenue from existing revenue sources. Our city can and already has a balanced budget with increased reserves. Any tax increase now is unnecessary and only punishes working families and fixed income residents in our community. I am glad to see my motion to hold the line on tax increases pass this year.
The City of Centralia approved the 2019-2020 budget at $127,545,319 budget. The budget was balanced and increased our projected reserves. In April 2019, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve an amendment to the budget because of increased revenue. The new amended budget was approved at $133,623,427. In July 2019, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve a second amendment to the budget. The new amended budget was approved at $134,722,760. That was an increase of $1,099,333.
In 2016, I voted against a Property Tax Levy Increase and against a Centralia City Light Tax increase. In 2017, I voted against a Property Tax Levy Increase. In 2018, I voted against a Property Tax Levy Increase. Last night, I voted against an unnecessary property tax levy increase and it passed 4-3. I will continue to vote against unnecessary tax increases in our community and advocate for sound budgeting and fiscal policies.
Not only does the City not “need” the property tax levy increase, but it goes into the general fund and has a negative impact on property owners and fixed-income residents. However big or small, an unnecessary tax increase is still unnecessary and still has a cumulative impact.
I strongly believe the resident of Lewis County agree; which is evidenced by their 2019 vote:
- Initiative 976 ($30 Car Tabs): Passed 71%.
- Every Tax Advisory Measure increasing taxes (except tax on vape products) was repealed by over 63% of the vote.
Out of touch legislators in the Puget Sound and Seattle are threatening the creation of a State Income Tax, Capital Gains Income Tax, Miles Driven Tax, and tax increase (again) on small and family owned businesses. The line needs to be drawn somewhere. Excessive Local – County – State – Federal taxes, fees, and regulations are cumulative and hamper growth, innovation, and investment in our communities.