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Finding Stable Financial Help for Washington Counties

Rep. Cary Condotta (R-Chelan) joins us to talk about helping Washington counties find the steady revenue sources they need to provide services.

Last week we told you about the ongoing tug-of-war over finances between the state of Washington and its counties. County officials hoped this year the legislature would give them relief from a state law that allows only one-percent annual growth in county property tax revenue. That law is the result of Initiative 747, approved by voters in 2001, invalidated by the courts several years later and then passed into law by the legislature in 2007.

County officials, especially those in rural areas, say one-percent growth isn’t enough to cover their expenses. They proposed a combination of population growth plus inflation, capped at a five-percent annual growth rate. But with other important fiscal matters before them, the legislature hasn’t acted on the proposal and some county officials are expressing their disappointment.

He says, given the popularity of controlling property taxes, changing the state law to allow more growth isn’t politically popular. And he says it’s not the best solution anyway.