Doggie doppelgänger
Doggie doppelgänger

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A weekly compilation of digitally-sent Letters to the Editor:

Hello,

I had received your issue today and had an "Ahh-Haa" moment and had to contact you to share this. The cover art that is portrayed in your issue, Georgie by Morgan Miano, caught my attention and I realized that I had a very similar image depicting the same thing. Coincidentally, my dog has the same blanket and looks alike as the dog on the cover. So I had to reach out share this.

-Amritpal Basra

The Editors at The Stranger,

I am commenting on the current issues being debated in the Washington State Legislature concerning fully funding basic education in this state (the McCleary decision).

To the members of the Washington State legislature:

*Fully fund basic education while meeting all other state obligations. (Education is the paramount, not the only, duty of the state.)

*Ensure equitable educational outcomes for all students. Encourage evidence based approaches to achieve this. Create a funding distribution plan which meets the diverse needs of students and school districts.

*Increase revenue. Simply swapping local property taxes for state property taxes does nothing to bring the necessary additional revenue to fully fund education.

*As to funding, we are overly reliant on sales tax, which is subject to decrease during recessions. Increased property taxes only increases housing costs. Property taxes are designed to fund special projects, for specific amounts of time, not to fund basic services. (Seattle Times, Piling on Property Taxes)

*Sales and property taxes hit our low-income residents disproportionally, making our tax system among the most regressive in the nation. (Times, FYI Guy)

*Increasing sales taxes and property taxes is not acceptable. Create a diversified tax base which is more reliable, sustainable, and less regressive by adding capital gains, carbon, and other taxes.

Thank you for your consideration,

Rebecca Brenneman
Seattle

In a fairly surprising turn, I have to say I agree with the Seattle Times opinion on the King County Executive’s proposal to ask voters to approve a sales tax initiate to fund arts, sciences, and culture education, and disagree with yours. Jonathan Martin’s arguments about why the timing is so bad is right on target. I don’t presume to know why the Executive wants to send this to voters now, but I do know that we are facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis. And I know that he, along with Mayor Murray, responded to this crisis by declaring a state of emergency well over a year ago. And because rents continue to climb, it’s only gotten worse.

I also know that as Jonathan Martin points out, and you missed, the Executive is making a choice between seeking funding for access to arts, culture, and science, and expanding access to housing and mental health services that would help reduce homelessness. The same legislation that gave the county the ability to seek arts funding also gave it the ability to seek a sales tax increase for housing and mental health services - the two things we need most to expand to make a dent in the homelessness crisis.

Support The Stranger

I support the services Executive Constantine is hoping to fund with this tax increase, but this is the wrong time to increase the sales tax for this purpose. Our state already has the most regressive tax structure in the country and if we’re going to increase a regressive tax it should be to meet the very most critical needs. Official declaration or not, homelessness is an emergency for everyone living, and sometimes dying outside. Lack of access to cultural programs is a problem, but not an emergency. We’re unlikely to get any more help from the federal government and we’ll probably lose some federal housing funds. Washington state and local communities have to figure out to solve this on our own and King County should use this imperfect tool to do that.

Rachael Myers, Executive Director
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

Editor's Note: The 27th annual Conference on Ending Homelessness—hosted by WLIHA—is held May 10-11, at Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.