Letter to the Editor: Vote for Shoreline's Prop 1

Saturday, October 8, 2022

To the Editor:

Next month’s ballot has important decisions for us to make: will we maintain our current level of city services by passing the 6-year maintenance and operations levy ? And will we continue effective programs like RADAR which is funded through the levy?

RADAR pairs a mental health professional with law enforcement when there is a call for behavioral health intervention. Evaluations show for people touched by RADAR there was a

- 67% reduction in adult jail bookings
- 60% reduction in crisis services events
- 14% of individuals became enrolled in publicly funded outpatient behavioral health services.

Top priorities in this summer's citizens survey were city services that emphasized response to homelessness and police response. RADAR meets these priorities and was recently highlighted on KUOW as an effective service.

Passing Prop 1 will allow the city to continue this work. Because the city is the entity managing law enforcement, if the levy doesn’t pass this program cannot continue.

The levy will keep the current rate of 1.39 per thousand dollars of valuation, it does not increase the rate. This will amount to an average $28 more for the average home.

A citizen committee and the city council are recommending passage of Proposition 1 https://supportshoreline.com/

Vote yes for Prop 1

Mary Ellen Stone


Brenda October 9, 2022 at 1:09 PM  

Mary, you are incorrect in stating that voting yes will keep the current rate of $1.39... the current rate is $1.13 per thousand dollars of assesed value. If you vote yes, you are not only voting for a 23% increase in the rate, but when you add that to the incresaes in our property values (mine went up 23%)... that is an increase of 48% in total levy in 2023. A NO vote still provides the city with 23% increase in total tax collected. This should be PLENTY to continue providing RADAR services.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2022 at 7:24 PM  

Never vote for any tax increases!!

Jeff October 10, 2022 at 9:49 AM  

This letter is factually incorrect and misleading.

First, the current levy rate is $1.13. Proposition 1 does not "keep the current levy rate at $1.39" — it increases it by 23%! This, combined with greater than 20% increase is average assessed values in the City will result in a permanent 48% increase in property tax. (Details behind the math can be found at: https://www.shorelinelevy.info/how-much-does-proposition-1-increase-taxes/)

Second: "This will amount to an average $28 more for the average home." That's the City's figure (which may be a bit on the low side), but one should note that that's PER MONTH. (Who pays their property tax on a monthly basis?) $28 per month is $336 per year, or over $2,000 over the six year's that Proposition 1 covers.

Third: The statement "And will we continue effective programs like RADAR which is funded through the levy?" is vague and meant to sow uncertainty a doubt. Here's the real story:
Prop 1 is about modifying the Levy Lid on the City's general property tax levy. As the term "maintenance & operations levy" in the name of the measure implies, the "general levy" funds the City's "general fund" which, in turns pays for most of the salaries and expenses of the City's government: from the City Manager's office and Administrative Services, to Public Works (8%) , to Police services.
The City planned contribution to the RADAR project in 2023 (which includes "one-time startup costs" — the forecast costs for 2024 are lower) is less than 1% of the annual general fund expenditures. It hardly explains the need for a 48% permanent increase in taxes.

Anonymous,  October 12, 2022 at 2:21 PM  

The rate is in place to protect us from being unfairly taxed why would I vote to increase it. I want to be able to afford to live in Shoreline!

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