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General News · 10th September 2018
Heather B
SO many people are up in arms about the hall tax and the first responder's tax.....(which are NOT related to each other). Everyone seems to be having a visceral response to the word "TAX": ACCCKKK !!! and they go running out of the room.

I am in favor of both of these proposals, although it seems to me that the amount of property tax already paid out by the land owners of Cortes should pay for these benefits....BUT apparently not as much as they need! I am curious where the money has gone that is paid out already, but I am sure I'll never get a straight answer on that.

Therefore, I am in favor of a tax (ack!) that supports these valuable community benefits: LIFE SAVING and COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT. Rather than throw out the babies with the bathwater, I'd like to ask for actual NUMBERS/AMOUNTS regarding how much it would COST or the PERCENTAGE that each property tax paye would end up paying in order to support those proposals. It might not be as bad as you think it is. If it turns out to be $750 per property, that's too much (in my never so humble opinion) but it might be $75....or ?

When push comes to shove, you sure don't want to lose a loved one because the people who are dedicating their lives to this Island's well-being aren't as well trained as they could be. They aren't asking for a vacation in the tropics!

Does anyone have NUMBERS? I am hoping that the meeting today was revealing regarding that.

Heather B.
How About Electors Share Cost Equally
Comment by Carol Lewis on 12th September 2018
At the Gorge Hall meeting about these taxes on Friday, I asked what percentage of electors were actually go to pay for the tax/taxes. Of course I was not given a straight answer. Our Director claims that the SRD is asking you whether you are willing to pay for these services. That is not correct. Yes, property owners are being asked that but all the other electors are being asked whether others should pay for these services. Furthermore, our Director claims that the parcel tax is fair since the amount is the same for everyone, despite the value of the parcel. This is also not correct since those who have, say, 7 families living on a property zoned for 1 will split the tax 7 ways. If we are going to propose a different way of paying for these services, how about all electors pay?
from other thread: ciffa
Comment by De Clarke on 11th September 2018
Bob Osleeb is CIFFA Treasurer and he writes, on another thread:
The Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association is requesting $45,000, the first year, to implement the First Responder Program and $25,000 thereafter to sustain the program.

As a parcel tax this should amount to about $50 the first year and $30 thereafter. Some would pay a little less and some would pay a little more if the tax was based on the mill rate.
So if we assume both taxes are approved, it looks like the average lot would pay an extra $135 for one year, and thereafter an extra $115/yr. AKA just under $10/month. Or in that ballpark anyway.

I'm starting to favour a value-based assessment, given those numbers. It's a pity that the algorithm is not more sophisticated, using some function that includes income, bankable assets *and* property value instead of property value alone. A smarter algorithm could offer more fairness, and maybe obviate the deferment program which seems like a bit of a bandaid.
Comment by De Clarke on 10th September 2018
Last number I remember being thrown around a few months ago for the Hall Tax (if both halls were supported) was about $85/year per parcel IF parcels were flat-taxed. If the tax was proportionate instead of flat, presumably lower-value parcels would pay a lot less and very valuable ones quite a bit more, with the median value parcel hovering somewhere around $85. For my property it wouldn't be an enormous increase, especially after you figure in the "primary residence" discount (and some of us get the Seniors discount on top of that). I don't know what the equivalent number is for the First Responders proposal.