Prop 1 Hurts Real People…Lots of People  

Please listen to some of the people you will harm by endorsing Proposition 1. Many of these people are your neighbors. We have collected their stories from written comments to the County Commissioners and on the doorsteps of our Jefferson County communities.  (More reasons to vote “No” under Menu, upper right)

Lynn’s story, in her own words: “[Proposition 1] is detrimental to many of us trying to survive. Some people have mentioned in the paper that ‘it only adds up to…and that won’t break anybody.” It’s not just this levy and tax. It’s a combination of all of them. And, yes, many of us are at our breaking point. I don’t live in a fancy house and can’t even afford to fix the many problems such as a leaking roof. I have friends in the same boat.”

Joli’s Story.   Life-long PT resident Joli has lived on acreage property in the county for
about 15 years. A year ago, she lost her job. Today she is trying to hang onto her home.
She is compassionate for the homeless, but does not understand how the Homes Now
movement can be so heartless. To pay her share of the levy, if it passes, she will have to cut back on fuel for her pellet stove.

Jamie’s Story. Life-long PT resident, Jamie works for the school district as a part-time
employee. Jamie’s lone asset is her house. She saves everything she can to meet her
mortgage payment. Her home is her source of pride and security. In five years her house
will be paid off.  This year she is in danger of losing it. She faces a big property tax
increase. The increases come from the new elementary school bond, the McCleary fix and potentially from the Housing Opportunity Fund, which could be the straw to break her back.

Cathy’s Story. Cathy lived for years on a very low income, but all those years she took
great pride in the home she owns free and clear. When she turned 62 she applied to the
county for a property tax break. She earned $800/mo from her job and a modest amount of rental income, giving her a gross annual income of $24,000. The county rejected her application, telling her that because she had a small 401k saving nest egg she did not qualify. She still is uncertain if her application was properly rejected, but she did not have the resources to fight back. She does not have any extra money to pay for a Prop 1 tax increase as she will barely be able to meet the tax increase coming from the state.

Marilyn’s story. Marilyn lives in Port Townsend. Her total income is a small pension and Social Security. Her one asset is the home she and her husband paid off over the course of 30 years of work. The Prop 1 tax which well-to- do newcomers in Port Townsend find insignificant will crush her grocery budget.

Rachael’s story.  Rachael has lived in our area for 25 years.  She is very proud of the
manufactured home she owns on a small acreage plot in the Tri-Area. She is a caregiver
who grows her own food and lives an extremely frugal life. The Prop 1 tax will cause her to reduce her one luxury, socializing with friends at a local coffee shop.

A. is a veteran who bought a house when she had some money. She was able to buy in what has become a desirable neighborhood in PT but her house is showing the fact she has no disposable income after meeting basic needs and paying taxes. She already goes without heat sometimes. She would die without her home. She may be selling possessions to raise money to pay next year’s property tax increase. She would have to sacrifice something to pay the Prop 1 tax increase, but doesn’t know how she will find it.

Sandra’s story, in her own words: “If my taxes keep going up I will be homeless. I am 76
years old, and still working to support myself and hang onto my home. My taxes have gone up 100% since I moved to Port Townsend and bought my home 17 years ago. I have a small 1940’s cottage. Not exactly living large in my golden years. I have worked very hard for the last 50 years and my home is ALL I have. I am pinching every penny and getting ready to turn off the TV to save money. I cannot give any more. There is a $20 tax on my monthly water bill and similar 20% tax on my phone bill, etc., etc. Where will I go for help?”

Lois’s story, in her own words: “As a nearly lifelong Jefferson County resident who
married into an old homesteading family…I am nearing an age when I would hope to slow down a bit and think of retiring. However, with this new property tax increase, I am worried about having such a tax burden in the coming years that I will not be able to keep my home. Increasing my tax burden will most likely make me one of the people that will be forced to sell my home, being unable to afford property taxes and place me on the rolls of needing low cost housing. You will create a whole other burden for the community.”

Jean’s story in her own words: “Retired and on a fixed income, my pension went up only
.8% since 2011. This past year I had to pay $535.57 [in property tax] more than the
previous year, the biggest increase in one year since I started keeping records in 2011. The total property tax was $4,082.91 this year. It was a struggle to find that unexpected cost! When I am living in my house and not selling it, the value of the property does not give me income. I would like to leave it to my son. He says, ‘But I don’t think I have the money to pay the property taxes on it.’”

Dorothy’s story, in her own words: “I own my own home within the city limits (17 years), have a limited income and I am not a senior citizen. As property taxes continue to rise I soon will not be able to afford the home I already own.

Larry’s story, in his own words: “Consequences for a yes vote are overwhelming for those of us on fixed income and trying to hang onto our little places here in paradise.”

Jean M.’s story, in her own words: “I am retired and cannot ‘make the money.’ I am on a
‘fixed income.’ Where am I to get this additional money? I guess if it passes I will be
forced to stop donations to the various charities I support locally. Also, dining and
shopping will be curtailed. When the bank account says zero—it means zero

Reesa’s story, in her own words: “My husband I own 3 low-cost rentals… As a result of a new tax such as this, we would probably have to raise the rent amount for the very same people that you are claiming that his tax would help.”

Martha’s story, in her own words: “Our property taxes went up this year. The State is going to hit us next year. We don’t need the county to hit us, too. We seniors are going to be priced right out of our homes. Give us a break!”

Sherwin’s story, in his own words: “I am on a FIXED income. 40.0% of all my income goes to [housing costs]. I have no discretionary income annually. These new taxes will make me HOMELES.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments tells us that over 3,000 Jefferson County homeowners are barely hanging on. Most of these low and very low-income families already pay over 50% of their income for housing, leaving many with only a couple hundred dollars a month for food, clothing, heat, electricity, their car, a phone, medicine.  Making their lives harder and pushing many toward homelessness because they have NO extra money to pay Prop 1 is no solution at all.

Please do not endorse a regressive tax that harms more people than it will ever help