South County Politics: 32nd District State Senate candidates debate property taxes

The state property-tax level has become a major issue among State Senate candidates in the 32nd Legislative District.

Voters have received their primary election ballots, which are due in the U.S. mail or ballot mailbox by Aug. 7. The top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation advance to the November general election.

Democratic incumbent Maralyn Chase says that she and other Democrats cut the state portion of the property tax. Democratic challenger Jesse Salomon says that he will work to reduce property taxes.

Salomon says that high property taxes threaten to push people out of their homes.

“I’ll work to reduce property taxes, increase senior exemptions and make housing more affordable.”

Republican Wood says that Chase has voted against property-tax relief.

Chase, however, notes that the state property-tax increase came while Republicans were in the majority but that Democratic majorities put have delivered a property-tax cut effective next year.

Wood, in a recent statement, took Chase to task for joining the legislative majorities in the vote to exempt legislators from state public–records law, something that legislators then urged Gov. jay Inslee to veto.

Salomon said in his statement, “As a Shoreline City Councilmember, my records have been public from day one and I will push the legislature to make their records public too!”

Chase said this in her statement: “I chair the effort to reform our state’s economic development programs, making them more helpful to local businesses and the family-wage jobs they create. I will continue my work for tax reform, sun-lighting tax exemptions, open government, restoring funding for education, social services, the public works trust fund, and environmental protections essential for humans and wildlife.

“I sponsored legislation on the Future of Work, the Growth Economy, Voting Rights Act, Reproductive Parity Act, and more. I ask for your vote to continue working for you in Olympia.”

Salomon said in his statement that he is personally going door to door in every neighborhood of the district.

“I’ve visited over 9,000 homes so far and I hear people’s concerns loud and clear.

“High property taxes threaten to push people out of their homes. I’ll work to reduce property taxes.

“As a public defender and child welfare prosecutor, I’ve seen what happens when we fail to invest in kids. I’ll prioritize high quality early education, reducing gun violence, and fighting climate change.”

Wood in his statement associated Chase with what he called “the failed leftist policies of Seattle” that he said “are at our doorstep” including “homelessness, sex trafficking, property crime, and mental health issues, all fueled by an epidemic opioid crisis.”

Wood also said, “Our elected leaders enthusiastically embrace culture-war politics with no end-game plan while continuing to ask taxpayers for more money to solve problems created by failed leftist policies.”

Wood said that Chase had refused to fix dishonest car-tab valuations and voted to keep her files secret from the public.

Chase and Salomon have sent full-color mailers throughout the district. Chase touts the progressive legislation she has pushed. Salomon says that he would be a more effective legislator.

The Democrats have big money. Salomon has raised $77,000 and spent $44,000. Chase has raised #44,000 and spent $22,000. Republican Wood has raised $11,000 and spent $8,000.

The district includes the city of Lynnwood, a small part of Mountlake Terrace, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas, the town of Woodway, the city of Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle.

–By Evan Smith

Evan Smith can be reached at

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