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Buck and Kessler to push tax freeze measure

Peninsula News Network


Olympia, WA - State Representative Jim Buck says constitutional amendments can be a “tough sell”, and it’s going to take bipartisan support for approval of the Predictable Tax Amendment, a measure developed by Sequim-area residents as a means of controlling rapidly rising property taxes.

Buck, along with seatmate Representative Lynn Kessler are introducing House Joint Resolution 42-14, which would put new limits on future property-tax increases. The Sequim group backing the idea believes it would head off the market-driven spikes that are squeezing already-tight family budgets. HJR 42-14 would amend the constitution to require a 1-percent annual cap on the increase in a home’s assessed value.

Buck says language in the measure was “carefully crafted” so that all property owners would benefit “equally and fairly”, and yet still provide predictability and stability that would benefit property owners.  Under the change, properties would keep their value at a specific point in time, except for new construction and new sales. Buck says that means, cities, counties and other taxing authorities would be required to limit assessment increases to the rate of inflation – but no more than 1-percent a year. Buck says that would eliminate “spikes” and basically “freeze” a property’s value.”

The proposal must pass both the House and Senate with a two-thirds majority. If it wins approval, it would be referred to Washington voters as a ballot measure in November 2006. A simple majority would be required for it to become law.


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