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City of Carnation

Proposition No. 1
Levy for Criminal Justice Services and Cash Reserve Stabilization

The Carnation City Council has passed Resolution No. 366, placing funding for criminal justice services and stabilization of the City’s monetary reserves before the voters.

This six-year proposition would increase the regular property tax rate for collection in 2012 by $0.61 to $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.  The 2012 levy amount would become the base upon which levy increases would be computed for each of the five succeeding years.  The revenue would be used to fund criminal justice services, including police, jail, prosecution, courts, public defender, and domestic violence advocacy, and to help stabilize the City’s monetary reserves.

Should this proposition be approved?



Ensuring sufficient funding for criminal justice services, including police, jails, prosecution, courts, public defense and domestic violence advocacy, are important budget priorities of the Carnation City Council.  If approved, Proposition 1 would provide additional revenue that would be specifically earmarked for these purposes, as well as helping to stabilize the City’s monetary reserves.

State law allows cities to “lift” the cap on regular property tax levy increases by obtaining voter approval of the proposed increase.  The City’s regular property tax rate is currently $1.29 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.  If Proposition 1 is approved, the City’s tax rate for collection in 2012 would increase by $0.61 to $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.  Assuming a 4.12 percent decrease in the City’s 2012 total assessed valuation consistent with recent historical trends, the proposition would generate approximately $100,000 in additional property tax revenue for 2012.  These additional funds would be used exclusively to fund criminal justice services and to help stabilize the City’s monetary reserves.

For properties valued at $350,000, landowners currently pay approximately $451.50 per year in City of Carnation property taxes.  Under Proposition 1, this amount would increase to $665.00 for collection in 2012.

The 2012 levy amount would become the base upon which levy increases for years 2013 through 2017 would be computed.

Police protection represents the largest part of our city budget.

The city has reduced or eliminated every non-police expense possible:  25% in the past 3 years through wage cuts, pay freezes, downsizing, reduced office hours, virtually eliminated street and park maintenance, and other areas. It is so tight, the $1500 DARE drug education program for schools was very nearly eliminated this year. Court costs and jail expenses passed down from the county have skyrocketed. Our reserves have decreased and are rapidly approaching the state minimum.

Voting YES will ensure that we retain the level of police coverage we now have.  We currently contract for only 3 officers because it is all we can afford.  If the levy does not pass, we will have a lower level of protection, probably losing an officer.  When we had 2 officers before 2005, our crime rate was nearly 3 times higher than today.  With less coverage, we would have decreased illegal drug enforcement, significantly longer emergency response time, and the risk of lower safety levels for our neighborhoods and families.

Now it’s up to you to decide what level of protection you want.  Please join us in voting YES to keep Carnation safe.

Police protection is the number one scare tactic to increase tax revenue.  It is the first priority of government to provide safety and security for its citizenry.  The real problem is the City does not prioritize its budgeting process to make Police, Fire, and infrastructure the priorities. 

They are asking for a 46% increase over and above what they are already collecting.  One thing is buried in the proposal; this is that 10% of the proposed increase will not be used for Police or criminal justice matters but, only to give the City a 10% revenue generating tax for “monetary reserves”, what are these “reserves” going to be used for.  The other point that is not mentioned is that they are factoring in a additional 1% increase every year until 2017 that requires no voter approval, a tax they have increase every year since the 1900’s. 

This City and City Council need to prioritize what is important for the taxpayers of the City of Carnation.  This should be voted down until the City can prove to the taxpayers that they have a budgeting process that is followed on every item that comes before them in the budget process.

No one wants higher taxes.  The fact is every departmental budget has been slashed except police.  Public safety is now 52% of the budget, clearly our highest priority.

We’ve been subsidizing police with reserves for 3 years because of a 15% revenue decline.  Soon there will be nothing to subsidize with.

The city council has debated this proposal for months.  All members wanted to avoid it if possible.  It isn’t.

Vote YES. Keep Carnation safe.

Statement submitted by: Eric Torrison, Ann Estrin-Wassink and William Fratzke  •

Simple facts. 2008 The City received a surplus $200,000 in property taxes but didn’t pay the Q4 Police service bill, roughly $100,000, which still hasn’t been paid. So is service really a priority? 2009 they receive an unbudgeted $183,000 for sale of property. This is approximately an EXTRA $400,000 spent by 2011. The City didn’t prioritize this budget for money to help cover police services! Vote NO until the Council can prioritize a budget.

Statement submitted by: Jim Ribail  •

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.010)

1249 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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