Kirkland City Council candidate Jason Chinchilla today announced his opposition to the Metropolitan Park District Property tax on the current ballot. “While I share the desire for a year-round swimming facility to replace the Juanita Pool, I’ve concluded that the creation of a permanent Metropolitan Park District with its excessive property tax is the wrong approach”, said Chinchilla.
Chinchilla continued, “The more I talk with Kirkland taxpayers, the more real concerns I’ve been hearing.
Proposition 1 is heavy on hopes and dreams but very lacking on solid details and costs. Proponents don’t know where it will be built, how much the land will cost, how much the facility will cost to build nor how much they will have to charge you to use it. Yet proponents want us to create a new permanent government entity and authorize it the power to impose three times the property taxes they say it will cost. With the real world full of examples of huge cost overruns on government construction projects, that is a recipe for high taxes.
Secondly, there appear to be viable alternatives such as partnering with a non-profit like the YMCA with a successful track record of building and operating aquatic recreation centers that do not require a new and ongoing property tax. Kirkland taxpayers have already been quite generous with six property tax increases over the last four years. I believe we ought to be looking for a way to give taxpayers a break rather than another big increase.
And finally, we must remember taxpayers have limited funds, some less than others, so we always need to prioritize taxes and spending. The city already projects a need for additional property taxes next year to bring our emergency services and fire safety response times up to standard. Comparing fire safety to swimming pools, I see adequate emergency services as a necessity and a fancy aquatics center as more of a luxury, so I want to make sure we don’t exhaust taxpayer goodwill before we cover our public safety necessities.
Because of those concerns, I will personally be voting against Proposition 1.
However, the voters of Kirkland will make the final decision on Proposition 1 and if the voters approve it and I am elected to the council , I will work to implement the Park District and the Aquatics Center as cost effectively as possible.”
Jason Chinchilla is running for Position 2 on the Kirkland City Council. More information can be found on his campaign website at www.VoteChinchilla.com .