It’s time for voters to pay attention to another plot by politicians to get voter approval for a tax hike disguised as something that will not raise your taxes. Measure 22-171 Ballot title, “Linn County Law Enforcement Levy Four Year Continuation.”

If approved by a majority of those that vote, this levy will cost property owners and renters in Linn County 111 million dollars in the next four years. Your property tax will rise by $283 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

There is one argument in favor which appears to be written by the writers of the measure. It is somewhat deceptive, it says, “Passage of this levy will not increase property tax rate.” What that means is that we will pay the same high amount that we supposedly volunteered to pay in the last four year levy which will end on June 30, 2018. The subliminal message is, “This will cost you nothing.” What you are not told is that failure of this levy to pass will reduce your property tax $283 per $100,000 of property assessed value because we have already paid off the last levy.

Levies are supposed to be temporary. I have been looking forward  to my taxes going down, my taxes have been outrageously high, in 2001 my property tax was $688. It has skyrocketed to $2,731 in 2017. Four times as high in just 17 years. I bought my home in 1975, the property tax was $210 the first year. In 1985 my tax was over $300.

Don’t be fooled into higher taxes, law enforcement will still be funded in the normal manner with the taxes we already pay for it. You may be able and willing to afford this tax levy but many people in our county are in poverty, trying desperately to hang on to the security of their homes. You can donate directly to the county if you like but please do not volunteer others to do so.

As in other bonds and levies, I have noticed that a minority of people which are likely to believe that they will benefit financially by the additional taxes are informed and vote. Those people are the base that the writers of the levy count on. Most of us are uninformed and some of us will automatically vote yes when they read, “Passage of this levy will not increase property tax rate,” believing they have done no harm.

Our beautiful county is also called a poverty county, which means that poverty prevails. Many people are down and out. Families struggle too much already. Kids brought up in these oppressed struggling families loose sight of their potential, affecting educational success and life planning. The Board of Commissioners should not cause poverty or hardships on the citizens just for the convenience of making their jobs easier. They are supposed to work for us, not against us.

Have the roles been switched, who is serving who? Anybody remember the term, “Public servant?

I bought my land, I built my home but the local government demands authority and quasi ownership over  my home. I pay yearly tax to rent the right to keep my home. If I do not pay my taxes the county will take my home. A severe penalty for something that is not even a misdemeanor. The power to tax is the power to destroy. The government is supposed to protect, not destroy.

I cannot think of one good reason to allow further government liens and what feels like extortion against our homes.

Oregon double majority ended in 2008, this levy can pass with a small number of votes. In 2014 the previous levy passed with 11,261 yes votes and 7,266 no votes, less than 30% of registered voters voted. Had just 1,996 yes voters voted no, the people would have held more than one hundred million dollars of their own money for their own well being. If you care for the well being and financial security of your fellow citizens, as well a your own, vote no on this levy which would put an additional lien against our properties, defunding our  own lives.