Saving Tollgate is responsible
October 3, 2008 · Updated 1:02 AM
Federal and state taxes have been cut or limited during the past two years precisely so that communities will be able to afford the investments they think are most important, and North BendOs city council has followed this trend by limiting local taxes.
The city has kept its expenses under control, shelving plans for an expensive Omunicipal campus,O but meeting critical needs for storm drains, flood control and a long overdo public works building.
The best measure of the cityOs fiscal responsibility is that the Tollgate bonds are rated A-, the highest rating available to a city of our size, a rating matched by only two other small cities in the state.
Even with the Tollgate bonds, North BendOs residents will pay a lower tax rate than those who live in Snoqualmie and surrounding King County.
Voters and city governments should make prudent investments for the future. Our city will grow during the next 20 years. More people will move here and share the cost of the Tollgate bonds. We will see new jobs created in areas east of town currently zoned exactly for that purpose.
Because of this growth, we will also need more athletic fields. We will need flood storage. We will appreciate the value of an open corridor surrounding the city.
We should vote to preserve Tollgate Farm on Sept. 18. For the first time in 100 years, the land is for sale. King County and the Trust for Public Land see the opportunity and are willing to contribute millions of dollars.
Because the city has managed its money effectively, we are in a safe position to invest in our future quality of life.