Tacoma: Art tax a small fraction of what needs watching

“Tacoma art tax experiment needs close scrutiny,” (TNT, 1/19).

Your recent editorial on the necessary scrutiny of the Tacoma Creates art tax is spot on, as far as it goes. But it would be a disservice to miss the forest for the trees.

The $6 million in projected annual revenue from the art tax is a lot of money, but it is 0.35 percent of what the city has budgeted to spend.

I encourage the TNT to apply a commensurate level of scrutiny to the other 99.65% of city expenditures. Efficient and effective city services are critical to the well being of Tacoma.

Utilities, public works, police, fire and more (including arts) collectively cost $1.76 billion annually, largely paid for by citizens of Tacoma. The newspaper should be a watchdog on this spending.

I applaud the interest that this editorial shows about performing that function. But it is a very small step, and there is much more scrutiny to apply.

John O’Loughlin

(O’Loughlin is a retired Tacoma city employee who ran for a City Council seat in 2019)

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