Is Library tax illegal?

January 23rd, 2009 by Ken

Can the Timberland Regional Library Board legally raise property taxes?  That’s the question that’s been making the public meetings lately. 

At the Olympia City Council meeting this week and at the Lacey City Council meeting Thursday evening, community activists raised that particular issue.   Is the Timberland Regional Library Board legally able to raise taxes?

These community activists point to a legal ruling in 1990 regarding the federal Metro Council which found that Metro violated the “one person one vote” rule regarding representation.  

Since Thurston County makes up 60 percent of the taxing district and population and yet has only two seats on a seven person council, they asked the question.   “Is Timberland in violation of the law?”

They also wondered how Timberland can raise taxes when none – – NONE – – of its members are elected officials.  

It is the only taxing district setting its own levy rate that does not have an elected board.  Even the Tanglewilde Parks District, the Public Utilities District, fire, cemetery and hosptial districts all have elected boards.  Why not Timberland?

Both the Olympia and Lacey city councils took the question under advisement.

(Contributing to this article were Jim Lazar and Gil Carbone.)

Posted in The Real News

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