Letter to the Editor: Please vote YES on Prop 1 in Lake Forest Park

Thursday, October 14, 2021

To the Editor:

If you live in Lake Forest Park, you’ve seen them all over: signs claiming that the levy funding sidewalks and parks (Proposition 1) is a “61% percent increase… FOREVER.” If you, like me, are a homeowner on a tight budget with a property-tax bill of $6,000+, that sounds scary – maybe scary enough to make you forget that you support improving sidewalks and parks, right?

Let’s get real. The proposed increase is only on LFP city taxes, currently less than $1 per $1,000, or 0.1%, which funds all city services, from police to administration to infrastructure. The proposed levy lifts that to $1.59 per 1,000. The median property owner’s taxes will increase by less than $400 annually, or about a dollar a day. That money pays for urgently needed improvements to sidewalks and crosswalks to keep children safe while walking to school, and for the maintenance and development of city parks. This also includes the potential to design and develop a new public community park on recently acquired waterfront property in the heart of town.

These are amenities and improvements that many of us strongly support – but they cost money, and won’t happen unless we are willing to pay for it. As for the tax increase lasting “forever” -- well, what of it? We won’t stop needing parks and sidewalks after a one-time fee is paid. Why make parks and pedestrian safety into second-tier priorities, funded only on a temporary project-by-project basis, while paying annual taxes for everything else the city does?

A “No” vote on Prop 1 is not actually a vote for a “better way” to do the projects – it’s just a path to more stalling to keep taxes low and prevent anything getting done. I hope you will join me in voting “YES” on Proposition 1.

Robert Anderson
Lake Forest Park


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