Thursday, October 7, 2010

Did Bonnie Mager really say she wanted to raise taxes?

Posted on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 4:33 PM

The Al French for County Commissioner campaign released a video today rolling out that most familiar of Republican boogiemen: the tax-raiser.

The brief, obviously heavily edited clip shows his opponent, incumbent Democratic Commissioner Bonnie Mager, saying, "I would propose an amendment that would give the county more tools to raise taxes."

Here’s the clip in question:

Given its brevity, many questioned the context of Mager's statement. Even Michael Cathcart, campaign manager for Michael Baumgartner, a Republican candidate for state senate, couched his response to the clip.

"I haven't seen the full context," he wrote on his Facebook wall, "but doesn't sound good."

Well, in full context, it sounds about the same, if a bit more nuanced.

During a recent debate, both candidates were asked about the "benefits and drawbacks" of the Growth Management Act and to articulate any possible amendments to the act.

French began by touting his development bona fides before going into how to "protect property rights for property owners and allow them to be able to achieve the visions they have for their property … and balance that with the interest of the community."

Mager's answer was decidedly more fiscal. She discussed how the county's budget has been hobbled by both a cap on property tax as well as the annexation of income-tax-rich county property by surrounding cities (she is talking to you, Spokane). That's when she dropped the "raise taxes" bomb.

"I would propose an amendment that would give the county more tools to raise taxes because we have basically a two-legged stool instead of the three-legged stool that the municipalities have," she said. "They have the utility tax, property tax and sales tax."

Here’s the full question and answer:

So there's your context.

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