Response to Concerned Citizens of Mercer Island | Letter

The following is an open letter in response to Concerned Citizens of Mercer Island’s Aug. 29 letter:

Dear Mayor Bruce Bassett et al,

If what the letter asserts is true, yes the citizenry should vibrantly object. Were I to address the council, I would suggest that it impose a land tax that would raise revenue from the Mercer Island commercial land that has been recently developed or will be, rather than taxing existing real estate improvements, which facilitates debt peonage and the road to serfdom of existing homeowners.

I would allude to Adam Smith, Richard Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Milton Friedman and, most recently, Michael Hudson as the sources of my counsel. They would allow me to provide a brief on appreciation and depreciation, gifts to the landowners, funded by the taxpayers, who also fund the infrastructure that supports it and allows the landowners to get rich while they sleep. My experience is that it is impolite to point out these facts in a public forum. I am not a member of Concerned Citizens of Mercer Island.

Cy Baumgartner

Mercer Island