The cost of the current portion of U.S. Highway 101 widening between Sequim and Port Angeles is $27 million. The cost for the all-or-nothing Sequim school bond is almost six times larger at $154 million.
When examining the reasons for this all-or-nothing bond I see items that I thought were handled through the Maintenance and Operation levies. I do not see anything so crucial as to warrant this type of spending. This all-or-nothing Sequim school bond will increase the school portion of our property taxes by 80 percent and the total overall property taxes by 16 percent.
The current tax base cannot afford this huge increase. It consists primarily of retirees and the service industry. These retirees are living on a fixed income!
Savings, CDs and Treasuries produce no interest and won’t for the foreseeable future! Social Security is changing the rules to keep the COLA as low as possible! The current unemployment rate for Clallam County for January of 2014 is 9.3 percent and has been trending upward since September 2013.
If this all-or-nothing bond passes, it means that the owners of residential and commercial rental properties will pass the additional cost on by increasing the amount of rent! Retirees will have to prioritize spending which means cutting back on current expenses. This will impact the service industry which depends on them to stay in business!
We urge the voters to vote no on this all-or-nothing bond. If there are urgent needs, then the school board must prioritize.
James and Deb Lindgren