The King County Council, just like the Thurston County Commission is considering a septic tax program to be imposed on all properties who have a septic system in King County. Local residents are calling it the “turd tax” or the “toilet tax.” In Thurston County they are calling it the “Crap Tax.” In effect, this will turn septic systems into a utility tax for the local county government, and will serve as a type of cash windfall for the county government to squander. The taxed residents get little in return for the taxes they waste on this program.
However, there are problems in the tax paradise of King County.
Local residents are rising up about the “Turd Tax.” A recent town hall organized by Representative Chad Magendanz (currently running for State Senate in the 5th District), Senator Pam Roach (currently running for Pierce County Council), and the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights attracted an agitated audience of almost 600 residents in Ravensdale and there was standing room only at all three King County hearings on the Turd Tax (euphemistically called Septic “Fees”).
The last hearing is currently scheduled in Fall City, and due to overwhelming response, the venue has been changed to accommodate the projected attendance:
“Turd Tax” Hearing
Tuesday, June 28th – 6:30pm
Snoqualmie Valley Alliance Church
36017 SE Fish Hatchery Road, Fall City, WA
The Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (full disclosure – I am the Executive Director – see my bio for details) has provided some excellent critiques of this proposed tax. See the source documents provided at the end of this article. However, similarly to the “Crap Tax” proposal in Thurston County, this ordinance justifies an annual property tax of $40 (for now) to be buried in your property tax bill and then increased when the opportunity presents itself in the future.
King County (like Thurston) claims these funds will be used to cover the cost of the “program,” but they don’t know what the costs are right now (which makes the tax very arbitrary at this point).
Then, there is the question of who gets the money. Multiple government entities appear to be jostling for the opportunity to grab the cash. One of Washington State’s most worthless government entities (see this report and this article, and this article , and this article to explain why it is worthless)- the Puget Sound Partnership, seems to think they get the money. There is bureaucratic turf and tax confusion.
Another controversial element in this fiasco has been the fact that private businesses have used the greed of government to enrich themselves. First, by requiring more frequent septic pumping than is scientifically necessary, and secondly, according to local septic system expert Ken Morse, who states:
“The County Septic tank regulators know they are NOT using best available science. They have hidden a $15 kick back from pumper companies inside the fee from the private data service which the pumpers are forced to use. You pay the pumper to pump your tank based upon a fake requirement of pumping once every 3 years. The pumper has to pay a fee to file his report with a specific private company. The private data company gives a kickback to Thurston County of $15 for the lucrative deal. Can you spell RICO?” – Ken Morse
This controversial tax is clearly dwarfed by the proposed Sound Transit property tax Scam (ST3) and other tax agendas, but it has generated a surprisingly emotional response from largely rural residents who are angered by the pointlessness and pettiness of the turd tax. This has included flyers like the following:
Like every other issue in our communities and our local government, this one is influenced only by those who show up. The Fall City hearing tonight is looking like it will be a circus. Come join the show. Join CAPR. Let’s tell King County that we know the Turd Tax might be tempting, but it is just another bad idea.
Additional Source Documents and References related to this article:
Bounds Report on Septic Systems (which lays out the problems with frequent pumpings, and how a 12 year pumping cycle (on average) is more scientifically sound).
Our Constitution begins with the phrase “we the people.” It was the founder’s intent that government be created by the people, to serve the people. It wasn’t their intention for the people to serve the government. It was always intended that government which failed to serve the people should be “altered or abolished.” Until we return to the founder’s intent, we remain We the Governed…
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