King County citizens and landowners defeat septic tax | Letter

The grass roots are alive and well in King County.

The grass roots are alive and well in King County.

Standing room-only crowds showed up at public comment meetings during the week of June 21 in Ravensdale, Woodinville and Fall City to voice their concerns about the Seattle/King County Board of Health’s proposed plan to tax all on-site septic system (OSS) owners for the use of their privately-owned septic systems.

The proposed “annual tax” and expansion of the board’s authority to oversee the inspection and maintenance of septic systems located on private property was unlawful and overreaching. It unnecessarily increased the costs of regulatory compliance for Washington property owners and businesses and indiscriminately penalized property owners in unincorporated and rural areas who lack sewer hookups and rely on private on-site septic systems for wastewater treatment and sewage disposal. For a brief summary of arguments, see

An agency that is not accountable to the electorate and is not empowered to raise taxes, yet attempts to do so in contravention of legislative mandates, should not be surprised when citizens vigorously protest their unlawful actions and demand accountability. It is fitting that this issue erupted right before the 240th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence where taxation without representation was among the several grievances presented in the Declaration.

We the little people were given timely notice to comment on this proposal thanks to King County Council member Kathy Lambert, Citizens Opposing OSS Management, Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, John Mueller, legislators and talk radio who advertised and supported the public meetings, and the citizens who researched the issues and submitted comments to the King County Council and Board of Health.

For the time being, the septic tank proposal has been shelved. The true winners are individual liberty and property rights.

Susan Friedman