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Eye On Olympia

Second property tax initiative filed…

Homeowners unhappy with property taxes have filed a second citizen’s intiative Monday, trying to virtually freeze tax valuations.

Linda Courtney Cox of Chelan and Kenneth Sinibaldi, a doctor from Lopez Island, filed a measure today on behalf of Washington Voters for Fair Property Tax.

For property bought in 2004 and earlier, their plan would freeze the taxable value at 2005 levels. For newer purchases, the value would be the purchase price plus any renovations. Taxable values could rise only 1 percent a year unless the property’s sold, at which point the value would be the actual sale price.

Washington’s property tax “is driving people out of their homes,” Cox said in a phone interview. Under their plan, she said, people staying in their home would have a predictable, fair tax.

“You’re not taxed based on what your neighbor bought his home for,” she said. “You’re taxed on what you agreed to pay and what you felt you could afford.”

Getting any measure on the ballot this year will not be easy. Proponents need to come up with more than 241,000 voter signatures by July.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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