Our Tax Dollars at Work (in Okanogan County)

Goddamn freedom-trampling money-wasting big guvmint!

As of this morning, some 3,100 firefighters were battling six major wildfires in Washington, while more than 4,800 were fighting 13 fires in Oregon.

More than 1,600 were at the Carlton Complex fire, up about 200 from Sunday.

A couple years ago when I ran the numbers for The Stranger, Okanogan County got back $1.84 in state spending for every tax dollar it sent to Olympia, while King County got back only 62 cents on the dollar. Which is fine. They sure do need our help to fight what is now the largest wildfire in state history. I just wish they had a more realistic understanding of who carries who, instead of constantly blaming Seattle liberals for all their woes.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Same goes for all those millionaires who own beachfront mansions (does anyone but millionaires own beachfront mansions?) insured against hurricane damage by taxpayer-subsidized federal flood insurance. You know, the people with Swiss bank accounts and offshore investment accounts to avoid paying federal income taxes …

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    By the way, where is Darryl Issa’s investigation of corporate and millionaire tax evaders?

  3. 4

    you gotta be kidding spews:

    When people are suffering, losing their homes is that the most effective time to say ,”I told you so”? Just saying kind of like the GOP’s unsympathetic treament of the border crisis, when people are suffering don’t make it a political point. When there is a crisis, help that’s it. There is always time for d*ckish finger pointing afterwards.

  4. 5


    @4 Just like how I should never mention gun control in the wake of a shooting, because that would be insensitive?

    No, the time to talk about issues when people are paying attention.

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Is that the same Texas government who slashed his state’s firefighting budget by 85% and then went crawling to President Obama for emergency federal aid when his state caught fire?

  6. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s a fact Texans were dumb enough to elect Rick Perry their governor, and it’s possible Republicans might be dumb enough to nominate him for president, but there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell the American people are dumb enough to put him in charge of our whole country.

  7. 8

    you gotta be kidding spews:

    @ 5 and exactly what is the issue? That east of the mountains they are not grateful enough for the largesse of Seattle? That they shouldn’t complain about those with different political views, as though that isn t a central theme of this blog (when not complaining about the Seattle Times) Yeah it’s real important to point that out to someone who lost their home.

  8. 9

    Emily68 spews:

    @8–Surely some of the people in Okanogan County, perhaps even some who have actually lost their homes, do not know that Okanogan County mooches off King County. And at some point this needs to be pointed out to them. The only reason not to point it out right now is because there’s no electricity, no phone lines and no internet in much of the county (the Methow Valley, anyway) and so it’s waaaay hard to read Horsesass.

  9. 10

    in the burnt moon dust spews:

    I live here in the mooching county of Okanogan and I agree that we shouldn’t be pulling more than we put in. The state tax money is hopefully going to individuals but I’m confident that the majority of all tax money spent is going right into one family business originating in Brewster as far as Okanogan county is concerned.

    If cherries are about $4 a pound to buy and your local poor farmer harvests 7000 pounds of cherries per acre across thousands of acres on a bad year, that’s a lot of money to spend on maximizing the benefits of any tax loophole or government handout that exist.

    I can’t say for sure how the game is played but I suspect that when your right hand owns the orchard and your left hand owns the packing facility that you can record most of your profits via the packing facility so you don’t have to show all those profits against the orchard which would result in it being almost impossible to record enough expenses to offset the property taxes for parcels in open space agriculture. I think 20 acres of cherries or apples pay about $50-$100 in property taxes per year around here, timber land even less, swaths of sagebrush almost nothing. This inequality is the biggest problem facing property tax funded public services on the dry side.

  10. 11


    @8 The point is that firefighting is government. As is much of the rest of what makes life and commerce possible out on the dry side (irrigation, electrification, transportation, education, and all the other ations). And if more drysiders understood how much they rely on and benefit from state government—and who actually pays the lions share of it—they wouldn’t constantly get in the way of raising the revenue necessary to pay for it.

  11. 12

    Sloppy Travis Bickle spews:

    … the time to talk about issues [is] when people are paying attention..

    That sounds so much nicer than ‘Never let a crisis go to waste.’.

  12. 14

    phil spews:

    The best way to thank the fire fighters and their support crews, is to assure the long term funding they need. That means paying your fare share of the tax load.