Opinion

Everything Bremerton: A taxing decision

A proposed add on car tab fee, for Bremerton residents, is back on the table and up for discussion. There is a right way to go about this and a wrong way.

The Bremerton City Council needs to make sure that the money collected from this fee, minus the state handling charges, does in fact go directly into much needed repairs for some of the worst streets in Bremerton. There are many streets that are currently an open visual disgrace to our community. A blacktop billboard, if you will, showcasing our collective neglectful stewardship over the years. Bremerton has some of the worst streets for a city of its size that I have ever seen.

Bremerton residents need to realize that what boils down to a specific issue user fee is in fact a big step in the right direction toward accountability and control over our taxpayer dollars and the local services they should be funding.

The immediate knee jerk “no” reaction is an easy short term avoidance to more taxes that are coming our way during economic times of hardship and budget shortfalls. They can be a tough pill to swallow and will only add yet another small hardship to already strained household and family budgets.

But avoidance now will only cost all of us more in the future as city streets continue to deteriorate past the easy repair phase and rapidly decline to the much more expensive complete replacement phase.

Keep local tax money local. The state is a mess of special interest favoritism that cannot be relied on, in any way, shape or form, when it comes to the distribution of our own taxpayer money back to our community for the projects and services we all need. With a fee such as this, we have the opportunity to limit the City Council spending on the direct correction of a common community-wide problem.

I encourage the Bremerton City Council to be the stewards they are there to be. If a car tab fee is implemented under their watch, they had better ensure that every available penny is spent in the most efficient and cost effective way on city street repairs and nothing else.

I encourage Bremerton residents to look at the bigger picture and not just at the $20 out of pocket for each vehicle they drive on Bremerton streets. As a resident myself, I would much rather pay the $20 toward something that I and my family use every day. That is an investment I can see, understand and accept. On the other hand, the greedy seeking and spending of slushy taxpayer funded grant money for fish art or similar wasteful endeavors with the “if we don’t use it somebody will” excuse attached is something we can all do without.

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