Kitsap County residents will be getting a crash course in a lower quality of living next year, no doubt bringing about grousing the likes of which few other things can. Among these “things,” of course, are taxes.
Reduced services at the county and the Kitsap Regional Library might be needed to drive home the point that without taxes neither is possible. Residents will find this out in 2008 as both entities struggle to maintain a positive identity while making a not-so-concerted effort to remind the voting populous, in no uncertain terms, “We told you so.”
And who can blame them for doing so? Not the taxpayers who shunned the library’s request for a paltry 18 cents more per $1,000 assessed valuation earlier this year. Not those who continually demanded more of the county even as its financial picture turned from bleak to being shoveled over with six feet of dirt.
Sadly, county residents will have themselves to blame when the one thing that makes Kitsap such a great place to call home — its quality of life — is put on the backburner while both agencies try to fill million dollar holes in their respective budgets.
If the present anti-tax climate continues here, the holes will get deeper and Kitsap’s chances of attaining what attracted and keeps so many people here will begin to fade like a distant memory.
As much as we all hate taxes and wish the government could just do more with less, there comes a point where it’s simply prudent to realize that both KRL and the services the county provides are both reliant on our tax dollars. Less dollars = less services. That’s pretty easy math.
Hopefully, residents here will be willing to work out this not-so-complex problem and come to the conclusion that the regional library system and the county government both play irreplaceable roles in making this area a better place for everyone to live. Next year’s belt tightening is just the first step in the wrong direction for this area, with any luck we won’t get so far down the road that we forget where we started from in the first place.