[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]The following letter is in response to a letter by Bea Nahon available at http://www.kirklandviews.com/archives/30039/[/box]
Jessica Greenway's campaign treasurer, Bea Nahon, recently denied that the 8.86% property tax increase Greenway supported for 2006 was really much of an increase, because the millage rate didn't go up much. In fact, she flatly stated “the City Council’s vote on property taxes didn’t increase the taxes on your home by 8.86%”. That is just plain false, and unbecoming of a licensed CPA to provide such misleading and inaccurate interpretation.
Kirkland Ordinance No. 4025 is absolutely clear. Anybody can read it for themselves:
[box type="tick" style="rounded" border="full"] Download PDF document.[/box]
In 2005, Kirkland collected $10,275,198 in property taxes. In 2006, the city collected $11,559,174 in property taxes -- an increase of $1,283,976, or 12.49% over what the city collected in 2005. Of that 12.49% increase in total property tax collected, over two thirds, amounting to 8.86% of the total 2005 collections, was an optional $910,000 increase voted in by the city council.
The assessed valuation of all properties in Kirkland rose from $7.87 billion for 2005 to $8.75 billion for 2006. This meant that the millage rate only needed to be increased a little bit in order to collect the higher amount of taxes. But we don't pay the millage rate -- we pay the millage rate multiplied by our individual property assessed value. There is no denying that Kirkland property owners wrote significantly larger checks for their property taxes in 2006 than in 2005, largely because of this vote by the city council -- which Jessica Greenway supported.
Nahon does admit that a typical $400,000 home paid $54.39 more in taxes in 2006 than in 2005. What she doesn't say is that if the council hadn't voted in that $910,000 property tax increase, the 2006 millage rate would have been $1.217 instead of $1.322. Because of this property tax increase, the city property tax bill on a $400,000 home in 2006 was $528.80 instead of the $486.80 it would have been -- almost 9% higher. My statements in Kirkland Views and in the recent candidate forum were factual and truthful, Nahon’s dissimulation notwithstanding.
During the debate on this tax increase at the December 13, 2005, city council meeting, Councilmember Asher, who opposed the tax increase, said the council “didn’t consider material cuts to existing programs before we layered additional requirements on top … we didn’t go and look for additional savings [anywhere] else, in other places, before we added the taxes on top of everything else”. I would have voted with Asher.
Will Nahon post this on their “Truth Be Told” page? No, I didn’t think so.