Farmers Under Assault Again; Tax’em Once – Tax’em Twice – and then Tax’em till They Go Away

They’re at it again and we need more voices to amplify that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in Whatcom County who want to control your access to water. We are in a world where many people are busy working, playing, and spending a lot of time on their digital devices tuning out the noise. Who can blame them? Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be spending my time talking and writing about local issues, but the more I peel back the cover of the motives behind so much of what’s happened and continues to happen in Whatcom County, the more I see the need to dig further, talk or write about it, and share it with anyone who will listen.

Children Chicken HayI received an email (Email: the curse or blessing that has bestowed so much information to the average person which the media fails to) which had a link to this Bellingham Herald editorial article written by Eric Hirst. Who is Eric Hirst? Any of my readers on this website or listeners on the Saturday Morning Live Show have heard me talk about the lawsuit between Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Brakke, Harris, Stalheim, and Futurewise. Yes, it’s that Hirst and now he’s advocating for a small tax only applied during the high use – low flow periods of the summer. “Since when have you ever heard of a small tax staying small and only being applied for a three-month period?” Even if you believe that such a tax would be limited in scope and amount for this County’s life…how much more damage do you think we can inflict upon farmers before there is no more farming in Whatcom County?

PLEASE listen to Dillon Honcoop’s “Saturday Farming Edition,” from October 31, 2015 on Saturday, and listen to how they are already under assault from every angle. This proposed tax would likely be the nail in the farmers’ coffin. Rural well owners aren’t far behind. Well Owners are protected by state water law with an exemption on their water rights, and farms have state water law on their side too. The Planning Unit wants to quantify how much water is available in Whatcom County, and where that water is located. The Planning Unit under the WRIA 1 groups are working to get this done, but their efforts have been interfered with by governmental and non-governmental entities many times, and with lawsuits like the one pursued by Hirst et al and Futurewise, it plainly shows there’s a move afoot to gain control of your water rights.

~ Kris Halterman

Community Conversation: Tax on Whatcom summer water use would encourage conservation

BY ERIC HIRST / Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

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