Property Tax Cap Could Work Against Yakima County Budget - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Property Tax Cap Could Work Against Yakima County Budget

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YAKIMA, Wash - The number of services that are unfunded in Yakima County are growing. One county commissioner says the new cap on property tax increases may cause more things to be unfunded.

A new state law passed says local governments can't raise property taxes more than one percent each year. What that doesn't account for are percentages that have been "banked". Meaning, property taxes could be increased by more than one percent without the vote of the people.  Yakima County Commissioners say they would not do that because it is not the will of the voters.  They do say property taxes help fund a lot of different things in the county budget.

"The voters also have to understand that this [property tax cap] is creating a larger unfunded portion so, services are gradually being reduced.  I work for them [voters], I honor their vote so, that is what I'm bound to do," says District One Yakima County Commissioner, Mark Leita.

What does that mean to you and I?  Commissioner Leita says in the next five to ten years people might notice government services like the licensing office not being open as long during the day.  Also less money would be allotted to the Sheriff's Office.

The commissioners say the unfunded in their budget consistently increases from year to year.