Note to state budget cutters: We're in this together
State Rep. Glenn Anderson proposes a constitutional amendment to allow the state to dissolve and reorganize counties that receive twice as much in state services as they generate in tax revenues. Oooh. Bad idea.
SOMETHING strange is happening in Olympia, where two state lawmakers from King County are overly excited that urbanized and suburbanized counties contribute more tax dollars to state coffers than rural areas.
This fact is neither new nor news, but that has not stopped state Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City, from introducing a constitutional amendment to allow the state "to dissolve and reorganize" counties that receive twice as much in state services as they generate in tax revenues. He refers to Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln, Garfield, Yakima and Wahkiakum counties. Oh, please.
It is obvious that urban-suburban areas will pay more on a percentage basis than rural areas. So what?
If Anderson is merely trying to make a point. OK. Deliver a speech, but keep it short.
Anderson's point is that rural counties bristle at King and other wealthier counties for dominating the state budget and agenda. But these wealthier counties net export dollars to places where lawmakers complain.
Beyond that, Anderson says rural counties need a long-term plan to sustain themselves either by merging with another county or finding new ways to create jobs and become more self-sufficient.
The best way for Washington to dig out of its current budget crisis is to do it together as one state solving problems collectively.
This editorial page recently took on Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat, who had a similar revelation about disparate amounts King County sends to the state and receives back in services.
It is fascinating for about a minute that six counties contribute 75 percent of the state's total tax revenue and many others receive more in services than they pay.
If this is all about having a conversation about the imbalance, discuss at will. But the constitutional idea is going nowhere. That involves the state sloughing problem areas off to counties, which are in no better shape than the state.
Lawmakers must engage in solid budget cutting endeavors that do the least harm to all of Washington.