This week we received in the mail a notice of our newly assessed property value.
On the bright side, our property taxes will be less in 2012 than in 2011.
Also positive for us but negative for the community, there will be a reduction in property taxes collected by the local government.
This creates a mix of feelings. I am pleased my pocketbook will look a little greener, but I know the impact will be widely negative when it comes to services provided as a result of the property taxes collected.
Local and county officials will have to take a good, hard look at their budgets. They will have to make some tough decisions, some the residents will not be pleased with.
We, the people of Yakima County, want our cake and we want to eat it too.
We want to continue receiving all the benefits of the services provided by the government, but we don't want to pay more to receive those services.
We like to see a little more green in our wallets.
When I hear people complain about the government not doing enough for them, I want to cringe because I don't see them donating the funds that make whatever they want possible.
I also hear some complain that staff working for the government is paid too much for what they do. Although I agree, the monster is of the citizenry's own making.
The citizens didn't balk at the wage increases, many of which were secured by unions representing those salaries.
It is as though there are a select few who pulled their heads out of the proverbial hole in the ground to peek out and see what was happening while it was happening. Those individuals questioned the bargaining agreements while everyone else sat back, assuming it would all work itself out.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out. The end result is inflated salaries that cannot be brought back down unless the unions are willing to allow it. Reality says, "Not on your life."
Now the budget cuts we have seen in the past couple of years will have to go deeper and more jobs will probably be lost because property values are catching up with the state of the economy.
There may be a further reduction in staff at the Yakima County Courthouse, city hall, the streets employees or elsewhere. But, the truth is, the money we paid last year for property taxes kept something running more smoothly.
We can't expect to get everything for nothing in exchange. Life just doesn't work that way.