Bob and Martha Bob and Martha Print Ad

(half page print ad)
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25 Oct 05: Bell Hill Realty has come out in favor of the BET. According to their ad on page A3 of today's PDN: "We will pay the Buyer's Tax for our customers to help save the farmlands and rural character that residents of Clallam County enjoy." Congratulations!

24 Oct 05: We received the following note from Marc Thomsen of Coldwell Banker:

Marc has asked me to remove from any list. Consider yourself remove.

It seems we have been remove[sic].


"Oh Bob, now that we've paid the 6% realtor commission, we can't afford to buy our new home!"

"Yes, Martha, this could be the end of our .... AMERICAN DREAM!"

Poor Bob and Martha. They believed everything the realtors told them.
Now let's wipe away our tears and VOTE YES on Proposition 1

Proposition 1 will save Clallam County taxpayers money.
Housing developments never pay for themselves; they always mean more taxes for roads, sidewalks, traffic lights, waste treatment, medical services; the bills just keep coming. Look at your own taxes. Look at the huge increase in building permit fees. Farms keep taxes low.

Proposition 1 protects our property values.
Many of us have our life savings in our houses. Farmland helps protect that investment. Don't let Clallam County become a cut rate California. A house near open space is worth more than a house near a large development.

Proposition 1 is a plan that will work.
Owners of important farmland throughout the county will have a choice to sell their development rights but keep their land and the right to farm it. An appraiser will determine what the development rights are worth. A committee nominated by County Commissioners will evaluate which rights make sense to buy. Clallam County has done this before, and it works.

Protect your own interests, not the realtors' 6%.
It's obvious why the realtors are against Proposition 1 (6% ! ), and it's not because they care about first time home buyers. Let's face it, for 6%, some of these people would have invited Godzilla to Tokyo. Think about why you live here. Think about your taxes. Think about the value of your home. Then do the smart thing, and vote for Proposition 1. And tell Bob and Martha to use a discount realtor next time.

Very Special PlacesTimes are changing - BET movie(about 30 seconds)
Small Version 1.1MB
Larger Version 3.7MB

These movies are in
Quicktime Format

Times are changing in Clallam County. For years, this has been farm country, but things are changing. Big box stores are moving in, and open land is vanishing. As people move in they destroy the things that they moved for: the rural character, light traffic and relatively low property taxes. There is currently no countervailing economic force.

The movers and shakers, the developers and realtors, end their involvement at the closing, when the real estate is transfered. The buyers must deal with the "bait and switch". New housing requires more services, police, roads, schools, senior centers, and the like. This means higher annual property taxes. Continuing development also means that our rural county will become increasingly suburban, even urban.

The Buyer's Excise Tax will cost 1/2% at the closing, but it will keep taxes lower for everyone, newcomers and oldtimers. It will provide a countervailing economic force to preserve some of the things that are drawing people to Clallam County. Yes, things are going to change, but it is better to have a buyer's tax than buyer's regret.

House WaveHouse wave BET movie(about 30 seconds)
Small Version 560KB
Larger Version 3.5MB

These movies are in
Quicktime Format

Not everyone knows that realtors get 6% for every house sold. We've all heard that a number of realtors in Clallam County have built a huge war chest to fight the Buyer's Excise Tax. Where did they get the money? From their 6% real estate commissions. Even though housing prices have been rising, the commission rate is unchanged, so realtors are making a lot more money for without having to do any more work. Naturally, they want to see a lot more houses built and sold.

The Buyer's Excise Tax is only 1/2%. It will be used for buying the development rights for farmland so that the land will be kept as farmland. This will help keep our farmers working in Clallam County. When a house is sold, realtors will still get twelve times that 1/2%, so their arguments about affordable housing are laughable. If they were really concerned about affordable housing, they'd settle for a 5% commission, and have twice the impact of stopping the Buyer's Excise Tax.

The commission on a $200,000 house would be $12,000, the BET would be $1,000. The annual property taxes on a $200,000 house would be over $1,000 a year, and these are going to rise as new development requires us to pay for more roads, more police, more schools and more services. The question is not whether home owners can afford the BET. It is whether they will be able to afford their property taxes without it.