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California, here we come

With Initiative 1033, Tim Eyman has managed to outdo himself in fiscal insanity, argues the chair of the Seattle City Council budget committee
At times, Tim Eyman's efforts to get attention for his initiatives have bordered on the comic, such as when he showed up at a 2006 press event dressed as Darth Vader.

At times, Tim Eyman's efforts to get attention for his initiatives have bordered on the comic, such as when he showed up at a 2006 press event dressed as Darth Vader. Northwest Progressive Institute

Initiative 1033, Tim Eyman’s latest attempt to Californicate Washington, is headed for the November ballot. It has an alluring subtext: “Limiting the tax burden on Washington’s citizens.” That’s the sales pitch for those who do not care to read 15 pages of fine print and do not plan to make use of government services from now until the coroner (if we can still afford one) pronounces them dead.

I-1033 roughly parallels the lead up to the current debacle in California where the state has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. As we speak, lawmakers there are poised to pass a budget that would end health care coverage for tens of thousands of seniors and children, lay off thousands of teachers, slam the doors on higher education, open the doors of prisons, and drill for oil off the coast. Anthony Wright, director of Health Access California, branded the plan “an embarrassment and shame.” He was quoted saying, “Millions of Californians will live sicker and die younger as the result of these cuts.”

And let us not forget, the once proud Golden State was brought there by citizen initiatives that limited the state’s ability to raise money in a down economy to pay for programs and services that, in many cases, were voted in by citizen initiative without regard for where the money would come from. California’s insanity — a complete disconnect between goals and means — is to be avoided at all costs.

Could such a catastrophe happen here? Indeed it could. I-1033 is a Northwest version of the slippery slope of California’s revenue-strangling Proposition 13. Among its Eyman-esque features:

  • I-1033 is notoriously badly written. Never mind for the moment the potentially disastrous impacts; it is also operationally insane. It mandates steps that are tactically impossible. Under I-1033, state, county, city, and other taxing districts must pass budgets based on inflation figures that won’t be available until after budgets, by law, must be written and passed.
  • There appears to be no equitable or timely way to calculate assessed property valuations to mesh with the “refund” steps required by the initiative. Once again, it’s a mandate to government to figure out how to fulfill a sales-pitch promise. Perhaps the only way to comply fully with I-1033 would be to repeal time, space, and gravity.
  • I-1033 would freeze tax receipts at the depths of the worst recession in the last 29 years. Budgets pared to the bone to reflect tough times would then become the ceiling, modified only by inflation (figured nationally, not locally) and population growth, without regard for local demographics. An aging population, for instance, might require more health services.
  • Under I-1033, economic recovery would be slowed by weakened and stunted governments. As the Obama administration has shown, government can provide stimulus in times of economic distress. But, if hobbled by inflexible limits, government would be unable to offer the boosts to the private economy, making recovery a long, painful process.
  • New development when and if it comes would be stifled by the inability of government to respond to any signs of recovery. Furloughs, layoffs, and hiring freezes do not presage efficiencies. Buildings have to be hooked up to electrical service, to sewer systems and water utilities. How would that happen with government services set at the lowest economic conditions?

Initiative 1033 is arguably the most egregious yet of Eyman’s attempts to feather his nest at the expense of this state’s economic well-being. Passing I-1033 would be one giant stride along the road to California’s economic calamity.

Jean Godden is a member of the Seattle City Council and chair of its Libraries, Utilities, and Center Committee. She was a columnist and chronicler of Seattle life for many years at both Seattle daily newspapers. She has endorsed state Sen. Ed Murray for mayor. You can follow her on Twitter: @jean_godden.


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Comments:

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 6:22 a.m. Inappropriate

From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

So many inaccuracies, so little time.

I-1033 brings back successful policies and principles passed by the voters previously. In 1993, during tough economic times, voters approved I-601, which put reasonable limits on government’s fiscal policies. I-601 established a sustainable rate for government to grow, saying it could grow at the inflation rate plus population growth. It included a safety valve that said if government thought I-601’s automatic increase wasn’t enough, they could go to the voters and ask for a bigger increase.

Despite a multi-million-dollar-special-interest-group-funded opposition campaign, the voters passed I-601, and it worked very well for many years until the Legislature started putting loopholes in it. It started with the Republicans in 1998 and accelerated with the Democrats in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2007. Those loopholes removed I-601’s reasonable fiscal discipline and policies.

The result? Two major deficits — $3.2 billion in 2003 and $9 billion in 2009.

Those loopholes allowed them to take their budgets on a fiscal roller coaster, overextending themselves in good times — creating unsustainable budgets — and then slashing during bad times (the Washington Policy Center has done extensive research and analysis on the success of I-601 and the negative impacts of the Legislature’s loopholes).

I-1033 gets us off that fiscal roller coaster by re-establishing I-601’s same reasonable allowance for growth (inflation plus population growth), allowing higher increases with voter approval. I-1033 also provides additional flexibility (rainy day funds, federal funds, voter-approved revenues).

I-601 worked, and it can work again with the passage of I-1033.

So what happens to excess tax revenues that government collects above I-1033’s limit? After a fixed percentage of tax revenue is transferred into the constitutionally protected rainy day fund, the remainder of excess tax revenues gets refunded back to taxpayers via lower property taxes.

I-1033’s winners: Struggling working families and fixed-income senior citizens who are really being hurt by our state’s crushing property tax burden; the economy, because lower property taxes mean businesses and taxpayers will have more money to spend and invest; the government, because, in addition to a secure rainy day fund, it will have I-1033’s fiscal discipline to create sustainable, priority-based budgets.

I-1033’s losers: Government agencies and programs that the public doesn’t support or can’t afford.

Opponents of I-1033 pushed really hard for higher taxes and a state income tax during this year’s legislative session. Even Gov. Gregoire and the Democrats rejected doing that, which just shows that I-1033’s opponents are on the extreme fringe regarding tax policy.

Putting a reasonable limit on the growth of government, like I-601 previously did, gives politicians the excuse to say “no” to the special interest groups and the courage to finally start prioritizing and reforming government.

And if the automatic increase allowed by I-1033 isn’t enough, government can use its rainy day fund money and/or use I-1033’s safety valve and go to the voters and ask for a bigger increase.

That’s reasonable, that’s sustainable, that’s what 315,000 citizens think is a better way to go.

Property taxes keep going higher and higher, and government keeps getting bigger and bigger. The people are losing control. I-1033 allows the state, counties and cities to grow, but at a rate that citizens can control and taxpayers can afford.

I-1033 gets government off the “fiscal roller coaster,” allowing it to grow at a sustainable rate that doesn’t outpace taxpayers’ ability to afford it. I-1033 is needed now more than ever.

I-1033 is our last, best chance to gain control of our government and provide the first real reduction in property tax bills in our state’s history. We’re proud of our supporters and hopeful voters will approve I-1033 in November.

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 6:40 a.m. Inappropriate

From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

What's also beneficial to the taxpayers about I-1033 is that it builds on and reinforces previous tax initiatives that have been undermined by subsequent legislative action. It closes existing loopholes and deters future loopholes. This is especially needed in Washington state because the lifespan of initiatives, including I-1033, can be cut short. Washington has a very unique initiative process compared to other states -- here, the people can pass laws, but they cannot change the state Constitution. Part of the checks-and-balances of our state's legislative process is that lawmakers and the people's initiative are co-equal: the people can pass a law, but the Legislature can change it. Conversely, the Legislature can pass a law, but the people can change it. It is a tug-of-war where both sides have equal authority. Other states (Oregon, California, Colorado and others) allow the people even more power and permit them to change their state Constitution by initiative, leaving the Legislatures in those states with little to no flexibility.

Washington is different -- one can argue that this is a weakness (lawmakers can change initiatives they don't like which frustrates many people) but it can also be seen as a strength (lawmakers can adjust people-initiated policies to adapt to changing conditions). Regardless of how you view it, it is the way it works in Washington state.

This is one of the main reasons why the doomsday predictions made by opponents of our initiatives are so easily dismissed as absurd. If an earthquake, small pox, alien attack, or other hysterically bad thing occurs, the Legislature is empowered to change the policies in any initiative. They've done so before and they will do so again.

It is for this reason that follow-up initiatives like I-1033 are especially helpful -- they give the people the chance to reinforce policies that voters previously approved but that politicians subsequently changed. With I-1033, there are three previous taxpayer protection initiatives that are reinforced by I-1033:

1) In 2007, voters approved Initiative 960, making it tougher to raise taxes. It's only been two years, but there's already rumblings from politicians telling reporters that I-960's policies are on the chopping block next session. Passage of I-1033 removes their incentive to do so. As was explained in a recent Seattle Times story:

Eyman said he's worried lawmakers will try to unravel I-960 next session because two years will have passed since the initiative was approved. He sees I-1033 as another barrier to raising taxes without voter approval. The initiative "says if you raise taxes without a vote of the people you'll have to give it back the following year by lowering the property-tax burden. So maybe you shouldn't do that," Eyman said. I-1033 allows governments to put tax increases to the voters. If approved, the new tax revenue would be exempt from the initiative's limits.

The major theme of I-960, continued and reinforced by I-1033, is encouraging politicians to get the people's permission before taking more of their money.

2) In 2001, voters approved a 1% cap on the growth of regular property tax levies with Initiative 747. Six years later, following the High Court's goofy 'voters-were-misled' 5-4 ruling, Gregoire and the Legislature reinstated the 1% cap during a special session, but they refused to repeal banked capacity, the ability of state and local governments to get around their 1% cap. I-1033 removes their incentive to use that unilateral tax-hiking authority because any revenue collected from it would be refunded the following year. Also, many citizens believe that state and local governments and county assessors are simply jacking up property tax valuations / property tax assessments in order to get around the 1% cap. Under I-1033, moneys collected from ANY revenue source that exceed I-1033's revenue cap must be used to reduce the subsequent year's property tax levy. I-1033 removes the incentive for politicians to get around the 1% property tax cap.

3) In 1993, voters approved I-601, an initiative that said government can grow at the rate of inflation plus population growth, the same formula used in I-1033 (the benefits of its reenactment are explained in the previous post).

I-1033 gets us off that roller coaster, allowing sustainable, predictable growth, inspiring them to reform and prioritize using existing revenues. We can't keep pouring tax revenues into a bucket that has a big hole in the bottom -- it'll never be enough. The state, counties, and cities need to learn that taxpayers don't have bottomless wallets.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 7:55 a.m. Inappropriate

"And let us not forget, the once proud Golden State was brought there by citizen initiatives that limited the state’s ability to raise money in a down economy to pay for programs and services that, in many cases, were voted in by citizen initiative without regard for where the money would come from."

Let's get it straight, Jean: The state of California was brought down by overregulation, confiscatory, burdensome taxes, and runaway government giveaway programs - which is exactly where Washington is headed thanks to profligate spending by government at every level, state and local. But the professional political class has the audacity to blame it on the working people who want to keep a little more of what they earn and believe that they know better how to spend their hard-earned dollars than the out-of-touch politicians do. The only thing that will head-off the financial collapse of our state is if the people will rise upo and tell the politicians "enough is enough!" and then do something about it. Eyman's efforts are not perfect, but they are a refreshing challenge to the status quo - but too little too late, I am afraid. What we need are thousands of Eymans to hold the politicians' feet to the fire for any real change to happen.

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 8:41 a.m. Inappropriate

The Seattle City Council speaking on fiscal "insanity"? I guess she should know. Seattle is facing a $43 million deficit. Enter the words "Seattle", "city", "budget" and "deficit" in the Seattle Times search engine and the first two articles that pull up bear these headlines:

Seattle has estimated $43 million deficit in 2009
Seattle Budget -- Council Has Ignored Economic Forecasts, Kept On Spending

Actually, Jean, Tim Eyman could be characterized as preventing us from becoming like California. He's trying to stop politicians, like you, from spending us into the mess our neighbors to the south are in.

BlueLight

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 8:45 a.m. Inappropriate

Tim, other I-1033 supports, don't bogart that joint, pass the koolaid and let's all sing the anti-government Kumbiya song!

Don't you folks understand that with our rights as a citizen, we also have responsibilities as one as well? We need to think of our fellow man, our community, and our state and nation as well as ourselves. This anti-tax nonsense will take down Washington state and ruin it.

And then you'll be happy to be living in the Mississippi of the Northwest.

kedamono

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 9:01 a.m. Inappropriate

I guess Tim was up early this morning picking this well written piece apart.

Initiatives like these are akin to asking voters "Would you like a free cookie?" Of course, just like free cookies, everyone wants lower taxes. The question is what services do you want to cut? Folks like Tim have two ways to address this question - "cut wasteful spending" and when pressed they pick small programs that look like (and are) a waste of money. The problem is that most government spending isn't wasteful -- it funds roads, prisons, schools and some social services which most people agree with (again, this is not to say that there is not wasteful spending -- there is. It is just that most of it isn't to most people. For every bridge to nowhere construction projects, there are 100 other bridges to somewhere where people live). When you artificially limit tax policy, you have to limit spending. As a result, you have to cut some of those things most people support.

I think what makes us different than California is our voter's guides. Every voter receives a pamphlet in the mail that has the pro and con (prepared by people on both sides) and a no-partisan fiscal impact statement. Since the info shows up in your mailbox, many people read it and hopefully don't fall for the "would you like a free cookie?" initiatives that sound great, but actually may not be.

jshindl

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 9:13 a.m. Inappropriate

Initiative 695 One Year Later: The Sky Didn’t Fall

by Paul Guppy, Washington Policy Center, February 2000

During the political campaign against Initiative 695, opponents made a number of specific predictions, all of them dire, of what would befall the state if the measure became law. ... This Policy Brief examines the accusations opponents raised against Initiative 695 and reports on how these predictions have fared over the last year. Our research finds that in specific, measurable ways the severe cuts in government programs forecast by Initiative 695’s opponents have failed to materialize.

Predictions by Opponents vs. Actual Outcomes

It goes on to list 21 'doomsday predictions' and their actual outcomes -- turns out none of them happened.

You can read the whole thing here:
http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/Centers/government/policybrief/01_guppy_i695.html

And I-695 was a tax CUTTING initiative, whereas I-1033 puts a limit on the GROWTH of our overall tax burden (refunding excess tax revenues to the rainy day fund and the remainder to taxpayers via lower property taxes).

Voters are smart enough to see through opponents' threats, lies, and scare tactics on I-1033.

I-1033 allows government to grow, but at a sustainable rate that citizens can control and taxpayers can afford.

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 10:33 a.m. Inappropriate

The following statement from Mrs. Godden destroys any credibility she might otherwise have:

"I-1033 would freeze tax receipts at the depths of the worst recession in the last 29 years. Budgets pared to the bone to reflect tough times would then become the ceiling, modified only by inflation (figured nationally, not locally) and population growth, without regard for local demographics."

Recession or not, the 2009-2011 budget provides for the highest expenditures in Washington state history. The powers that be in Olympia and Seattle simply want to spend, spend, spend and spend the citizens' hard-earned tax dollars. They want no limits on this ability.

I oppose the initiative process. However, the disingenuous, out-of-touch politicians in this state have consistently demonstrated a total lack of accountability to the taxpayers.

PJS

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 10:50 a.m. Inappropriate

"I-1033’s winners: Struggling working families and fixed-income senior citizens who are really being hurt by our state’s crushing property tax burden;"

Because we rely on sales taxes, Washington has one of the most regressive tax structures in the country, which means that the middle and lower income families pay more taxes here than they do in other states. We need some degree of income tax to shift our taxing burden more fairly toward the wealthy who have made millions upon millions in our state. Instituting a state income tax is possibly the singly most significant change we could make to support working and retired families. Unlike running anti-tax initiatives though, establishing a state income tax would require long hard work as opposed to riding simple sentiment and ideology.

-Morgan

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 11:21 a.m. Inappropriate

So much boilerplate, so little actual thought. So, Tim, how about answering the first bullet?
Let us pretend you are right, though, I think you are not, how does the budget get written before inflation figures are known, and then rewritten for the refund. I think H.G. Wells powered his time machine with a crystal, will yours use hot air?

It mandates steps that are tactically impossible. Under I-1033, state, county, city, and other taxing districts must pass budgets based on inflation figures that won’t be available until after budgets, by law, must be written and passed.

So, Tim, how does I-1033 bend time back to finish tasks before others begin?

Mr Baker

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 11:50 a.m. Inappropriate

Councilmember Godden obviously hasn't read I-1033 because it doesn't address "other taxing districts" - only the state, counties, and cities.

She tries to get everyone to look at California, but we've had 16 years of positive experience with I-601, approved by voters in 1993 during tough economic times.

In the decade before voters approved I-601 in 1993, the average increase in government growth was a ridiculously unsustainable 17.3% (per biennium). In the years following I-601, the growth of government averaged 8.9%, almost half the previous rate. But as time went on, legislators gradually suspended its policies, putting loopholes in I-601.

Those loopholes resulted in massive deficits. All I-1033 does is bring back the successful policies of I-601 for the state and extends those principles to the counties and cities.

Anyone who believes that counties and cities won't benefit from the fiscal discipline of I-601 hasn't been paying attention.

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 12:26 p.m. Inappropriate

Address the order of operations, please, thanks.

Mr Baker

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 12:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Mr. Morgan -

You make a very bold statement:

"middle and lower income families pay more taxes here than they do in other states."

Care to expand on that and/or pass on real data? Is that gross taxes (I doubt it)? Per capita taxes (I also doubt it)? Taxes as a percentage of total income (doubt it)? Taxes per capita as a percentage of total income (maybe, but I still doubt it)?

I suggest that you are simply incorrect. Perhaps you can take a look at California and New York and demonstrate how "middle and lower income families pay more taxes here than they do in" those two "progressive" paradises?

PJS

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 12:35 p.m. Inappropriate

Washington is the 8th highest taxed state in the nation
(8th by Forbes magazine and 8th by Tax Foundation's Freedom Day).

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 1:46 p.m. Inappropriate

Hey Crosscut... what would it take to elminate Initiatives completely in the state of Washington? I'm sick of the domination of our representative democracy by the initiative process.

Peaboy

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 1:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Peaboy, it would take Seattle Democrat Ken Jacobsen getting Democrats to co-sponsor his bill to completely eliminate the citizens right to participate. Every year, he sponsors it with the rallying cry "let's take away the citizens' voice" -- thus far, he has yet to get any fellow Democrats to co-sponsor his bill.

So he's your guy -- http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/jacobsen

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 2:16 p.m. Inappropriate

"It mandates steps that are tactically impossible. Under I-1033, state, county, city, and other taxing districts must pass budgets based on inflation figures that won’t be available until after budgets, by law, must be written and passed."

answer?

Mr Baker

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 5:35 p.m. Inappropriate

And then he will make a big freaking deal about his poorly formed idea ending up in court where people getting paid my tax money will attempt to make time bend backward.

And the dems will just deny the red school districts blue money, and use that money to fill some hole this thing makes.

Mr Baker

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 5:39 p.m. Inappropriate

Red counties and towns that will cheer this one will get screwed in the end, and wonder why.
Good job Tim, more self distructive customers.

Mr Baker

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 6:19 p.m. Inappropriate

The initiative system is truly a beautiful thing. It reduces every issue to a simple yes or no question. No debating, no compromising, no lengthy public process. There is a problem however; debate, compromise and public process are the very activities which sustain healthy and functional democracies.

The legislative process for all its flaws fosters compromise and debate. Legislators are forced to reconcile the public’s demand for services with their ability to pay and must bear the responsibility of protecting the rights of minority groups (the aged, the disabled, the poor etc.) whose interests would not be protected by mob rule.

On the other hand all of the important policy considerations inherent in any initiative have been worked out (or not) well in advance of the election by a small group of unelected individuals. In this way the initiative process is neither participatory nor democratic. While the idea of cheap car tabs, low taxes and highly paid teachers may well appeal to a majority of the population, the realization of these ideas is another thing all together.

It would at a minimum seem reasonable and prudent to require that all initiatives be “revenue neutral”. Essentially, initiatives proposing spending constraints should be required to provide for a balanced budget by identifying the specific programs and services that would be cut. Conversely, initiatives proposing spending increases should be required to identify potential funding sources. The problem of course, is that this approach would require that Initiative promoters do the hard work currently done by all those “out of touch” politicians in Olympia.

bjohn

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 9:07 p.m. Inappropriate

From my reading the only "people" who stand to gain from this initiative are the moneyed and big business. The real estate cuts the wealthly and big business stand to gain are enormous. Yet the impact of their real estate has no relation to Washington states' population or inflation. It seems very wrong for the Boeing Corporation to gain a huge tax cut for their Everett property while I get pennies from this initiative. Meanwhile I am forced to pay for more school supplies and school programs that are unfunded, I am forced to wait for emergency care while those without basic healthcare clog the emergency room and I am forced to buy security for my home as we cut police, fire fighters and release murders and rapists from our prisions.

Real estate taxes are 100% deductible from our federal taxes. We actually gain money from our property taxes. On the other hand Bill Gates will not spend more in this state due to a hefty property tax cut. Boeing and ARCO will send their windfall tax cuts to their corporate headquarters from Washington State. Yet traffic, environmental concerns, and infrastructure needs of business dwarves the amount a fixed population/inflation formula could ever address.

2cents

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 9:16 p.m. Inappropriate

Believe it or not politcians are real people who pay taxes and who are deeply concerned about the impact and price of government services.

It's clear from the responses to Jean's posting that the conservative movement is dead. Now the far far right has become the anti government movement. They would rather overthrow government than bother to engage the process.

Why would you support this initiative? It is an out of state idea, funded by out of state money, created by out of state signature gathering company, to cut taxes for out of state corporations. It's about as grass roots as the Denver Broncos.

2cents

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 11:01 p.m. Inappropriate

not one thing about that previous post is true. oh well, when it comes to initiative opponents, the first casualty is always the truth.

Opponents have raised $52,500 so far ($25,000 from the Washington Education Association, $25,000 from the WA Service Employees Int'l Union SEIU, $2500 from the WA Council of County & City Employees).

3 groups, no individuals, that's it.

It was these same groups (and the groups that will join them) that pushed very hard for big tax hikes and a state income tax during the last legislative session AND EVEN GREGOIRE AND THE DEMOCRATS rejected doing that. In other words, these groups are on the absolute far-left fringe. Opponents are against ANY limit on government's ability to unilaterally take as much as they want from the taxpayers.

As far as support for I-1033 is concerned, we've received 2063 individual donations totalling $664,769 so far. 2063 -- that's really extraordinary -- it's clear that I-1033 has a very broad base of grassroots support. Supporter Mike Dunmire is a real rock star among our supporters -- he's inspired many to contribute because of his leadership and support. His $300,000 contribution, along with my $250,000 loan from a 2nd mortgage on my house, certainly helped a lot, but we value everyone who contributes to our efforts, especially during these tough economic times.

out of the 48,148 supporters who were mailed a I-1033 petition in February, an extraordinary 34,588 sent back a partially filled or fully filled petition, and 315,444 citizens signed a petition.

Thanks to all those people who worked so hard, the voters will have the opportunity to vote in November for lower property taxes by controlling the growth of government.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 22, 11:07 p.m. Inappropriate

I think 2cents basically hits the nail on the head. The wondrous thing is the ability
of Eyman to get people to vote against their own economic self interest.

JBC

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 12:06 a.m. Inappropriate

from: IRONHORSE (posted at the Kitsap Sun)

We all know opponents don't want it to pass and they dislike Eyman and that's okay. This is America and we can disagree. But the question is, what would be your plan for ensuring responsible spending instead of the full speed adrift way we do it now? I think we're all open for a plan if you have one. The constant complaints about Eyman without a reasonable counter plan is just that, whining and complaining about a guy that's trying to do something the left hates. Taking their money away from them and holding them accountable for the money they do spend.

Do you have such a plan or maybe even a suggestion?

teyman

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 5:54 a.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 is a "solution" looking for a problem. It continues to show your anti government bent.

You and Dunmire won't even support an opposition party. How much did you and Dunmire contribute to Rossi's campaign? To any Republican or conservative candidate? A big goose egg?

2cents

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 7:55 a.m. Inappropriate

earlier post: I-1033 is a "solution" looking for a problem.

response: The fiscal roller coaster -- overextending themselves in good times, creating unsustainable budgets, and then slashing during bad times -- has been cited by Gregoire in each of her 'opening session' speeches. She's repeatedly called for "getting off the fiscal roller coaster." And while rhetoric is good, action is what matters. And her first term was an extension and exaccerbation of that very real fiscal roller coaster problem when, in 2005, the Democrats and Gregoire, right after she became Governor, changed I-601's government growth formula from 'inflation plus population growth' to a 'ten-year average of personal income growth' -- this was effectively no limit at all (as the Washington Policy Center wrote: Tying increases in public spending to the growth in the average of personal incomes artificially exaggerates the impact of wealthy people's incomes on state spending. Under this budget rule, state spending and taxation go up for everyone, even though not everyone's income has increased to keep pace).

That's why Gregoire's first term resulted in government growth exploding to 33% over four years and ending with a $9 billion deficit.

I-1033 reestablishes I-601's reasonable growth limit of inflation plus population growth, maintaining the 'safety valve' of voter approval for bigger increases, and providing 'first bite' to the constitutionally-protected rainy day fund for excess tax revenues with the remainder of excess tax revenues being refunded back to taxpayers via lower property taxes.

I-1033 substantively addresses the real problem of the fiscal roller coaster.

Our opponents offer no alternative, other than higher taxes and a state income tax.

As IRONHORSE wrote above: But the question is, what would be your plan for ensuring responsible spending instead of the full speed adrift way we do it now? I think we're all open for a plan if you have one.

teyman

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 1:16 p.m. Inappropriate

Washington State according to the conservative Tax Foundation ranks 35th (1 is highest) in terms of state-local tax burden compared to the US average. Eyman continues to try to push the myth that Washington State citizens are overburdened with state and local taxes. The figures don't support it.

see http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/486.html

The Forbes article has no backup to its analysis and is hardly comprehensive. It actually says our taxes are much lower than the Tax Foundation calculates. It calculates state and local taxes at $2553/capita.
The Tax Foundation lists the national average as $4283.

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 1:22 p.m. Inappropriate


Eyewash,

You're punk lost last year, without a recount. Get over it.

Anandakos

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 1:30 p.m. Inappropriate


Unobservant,

You really don't like the people of Washington, do you? It just sticks in your craw that folks in the Evergreen State would like to keep it that way. To keep the choking hands of your corporate puppeteers off our beautiful landscape, our livable cities, and our laid-back people.

I expect that you would feel much more welcome somewhere in the Confederacy.

Anandakos

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 1:35 p.m. Inappropriate

Initiative I-1033 is a reverse Robin Hood scheme. It takes money from the poor and middle class in the form of sales taxes we pay (57% of state revenue last year was from the sales tax) and would use it to reduce property taxes.

The more property you own, the more you benefit. So Boeing and Weyerhauser and shopping malls and strip malls and real estate developers will get a bigger tax break than single home owners.

But its even worse - only 65% of households in Washington State are owner occupied. So 35% of households won't see a tax break. Yet everyone pays sales tax.(According to the Forbes article Eyman quotes, sales tax accounts for 85% of personal taxes paid in Washinton this is wrong but what the heck Eyman likes to quote the Forbes article)

The losers here are Eyman's "struggling working families and fixed-income senior citizens who are really being hurt by our state’s crushing property tax burden;" The way to help them is with circuit breaker legislation that helps with property taxes based on income or a Homestead Exemption based on excluding the first $50,000 or $75,000 of home valuation from the tax bill.

I-1033 is a Rube Goldberg scheme to transfer money to those that own property - the more property or larger house, the more you benefit. Vote No on I-1033 in November. Protect your pocketbook from Eyman's wealth transfer schemes.

see original article here http://www.majorityrules.org/blog/2009/07/initiative-1033-eymans-latest-wealth.html

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 1:40 p.m. Inappropriate

You can read about Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 Grassroot Joke here:

http://www.majorityrules.org/blog/2009/07/initiative-1033-eymans-latest-wealth.html

The truth is that 86.5% of Eyman's money came from just 3 sources.
Michael Dunmire of Woodinville gave $300,000. Tim Eyman borrowed $250,000 and loaned it to the campaign. And Kemper Holdings LLC of Bellevue owned by Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square Mall gave $25,000.

These top 3 donors in the campaign contributed 86.5% of the total cash raised. This hardly sounds like a grassroots campaign to me. Especially since they spent $598,081 to get the signatures. That's an average of $1.89/signature. Where's the grassroots?

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 2:16 p.m. Inappropriate

As written earlier, opponents have raised $52,500 so far ($25,000 from the Washington Education Association, $25,000 from the WA Service Employees Int'l Union SEIU, $2500 from the WA Council of County & City Employees).

3 groups, no individuals, that's it.

It was these same groups (and the groups that will join them) that pushed very hard for big tax hikes and a state income tax during the last legislative session AND EVEN GREGOIRE AND THE DEMOCRATS rejected doing that. In other words, these groups are on the absolute far-left fringe. Opponents are against ANY limit on government's ability to unilaterally take as much as they want from the taxpayers.

teyman

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 2:16 p.m. Inappropriate

Washington's state and local tax burden last year was ranked 35th (1 is highest) according to the conservative Tax Foundation. These figures include both state and local property taxes in their calculation

You can read more about Tim Eyman's I-1033 Overtaxed Hoax here:

http://www.majorityrules.org/blog/2009/07/tim-eymans-initiative-1033-overtaxed.html

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 2:17 p.m. Inappropriate

Washington is the 8th highest taxed state in the nation
(8th by Forbes magazine and 8th by Tax Foundation's Freedom Day).

teyman

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 2:22 p.m. Inappropriate

Below is a list of early supporters of the No on 1033 campaign. The No Campaign is just gearing up and many more endorsers are sure to join.

AARP Washington
Amalgamated Transit Union 1015
American Federation of Teachers Washington, AFL-CIO
Alzheimer's Association, Western and Central Washington Chapter
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of King County
Central Washington Progress
Heart of America Northwest
King County Democrats
Lutheran Public Policy Office
Washington State Council of Fire Fighters
Fuse Washington
The Nature Conservancy of Washington
OneAmerica
Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington
Puget Sound Sage
Raising Our APA Representation
SEIU 775
Sahngnoksoo
Sierra Club, Cascade Chapter
Statewide Poverty Action Network
Surfrider Foundation
Transportation Choices Coalition
UFCW Local 21
Washington Association of Churches
Washington Bus
Washington Education Association
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Washington State Council of County and City Employees, AFSCME Council 2
Washington State Hospital Association
Washington State Labor Council

For more information on the No on 1033 Campaqign go to their website.
http://no1033.com/about/

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 2:28 p.m. Inappropriate

hey tim Washington State is not the 8th highest taxed state. It's number 35 according to the conservative Tax Foundation when comparing states for their state and local property tax burden. Repeating something that's not true over and over doesn't make it true. The Forbes article is wrong.

see http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/486.html

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 2:34 p.m. Inappropriate

Also the Tax Foundation has some interesting figures on property taxes

Analysis by the Tax Foundation showed Washington State ranking 24th (1 is highest) in terms of property taxes on owner occupied housing. The figures are given in terms of median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home values. Washington State had a value of .82% for 2007, which came in 24th when compared to the other states.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/24078.html

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 3:37 p.m. Inappropriate

Mr Zemke -

You are no better than you claim Mr Eyman is when it comes to citing statistics. You misstate reference to "number 35." The data you are looking at ranks Washington as #35 for state and local taxes as a percentage of income. Move three columns to the left in the same table, and Washington is #16 in per capita state and local tax burden. Per capita seems at least as good a measure as a % of income is.

Thanks for listing the various left-wing groups opposing Prop 1033. Not a single one surprised me.

Can somebody please explain why using the 2009-2011 fiscal budget as the baseline for future growth is offensive? It is BY FAR the biggest budget in Washington history.

PJS

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 4:11 p.m. Inappropriate

Interestingly, it appears that the Tax Foundation may be the source of Forbes's 8th in the nation statistic. According to the Tax Foundation, Washington state residents must work until April 16 in 2009 in order to pay all of their federal, state and local taxes this year. This is the 8th latest date among all of the 50 states.

Why, Mr. Zemke, isn't this a better measure than the one you cite above where Washington is #35, or the one I reference where Washington is #16?

PJS

Posted Thu, Jul 23, 4:34 p.m. Inappropriate

I had no idea Jean Godden was still alive. WOW! I bet she didn't write this piece.

caseyb

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 3:50 a.m. Inappropriate

"Initiative I-1033 is a reverse Robin Hood scheme. It takes money from the poor and middle class in the form of sales taxes we pay (57% of state revenue last year was from the sales tax) and would use it to reduce property taxes.

The more property you own, the more you benefit. So Boeing and Weyerhauser and shopping malls and strip malls and real estate developers will get a bigger tax break than single home owners."--Steve Zemke

Only if legislators irresponsibly continue to expand government after voters pass I-1033, in effect telling them not to expand.

If they make the effort to hold tax/spending growth down to pop+inflation, there will be no excess revenue and no property tax break. Or they could even dial things back, they way so many of us are doing in these tough times, to make damn sure there is no excess. What a concept!

rasul

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 8:11 a.m. Inappropriate

Rasul

Business impacts infrastructure much greater than the population and inflation formula of I-1033 can keep up with. A shopping mall has far greater impacts to a neighborhood than a few families moving into the same neighborhood.

This initiative is not a simply a state initiative it impacts all counties, cities and districts. Their tax revenues are already regulated by the economy. This year's "increase" in revenues to the state are much less than I-1033 formula. Next year property taxes will be greatly impacted by the new assessments regularly conducted by the counties.

I don't know where you anti govennment people live where you don't require government services, but the reality is government is a necessity.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 8:27 a.m. Inappropriate

earlier post: This initiative is not a simply a state initiative it impacts all counties, cities and districts.

response: if opponents actually took the time to READ the initiative, they'd know that I-1033 affects the state, counties, and cities AND NOT OTHER DISTRICTS. There are over 1700 local governments and a whole bunch of them are not addresses by I-1033 (school districts, fire districts, library districts, cemetery districts, water districts, public utility districts, mosquito districts, ports, etc.).

I-1033 affects 'general fund revenue' for the state, counties, and cities. I-1033 puts a cap on the growth of general fund revenue (I-1033 carves out exceptions for rainy day funds and voter-approved revenues).

And it's important to note that I-1033's limit has an exception: voter-approved revenue. If the government doesn't think the automatic increase allowed under I-1033 isn't big enough, then they can use moneys in their rainy day fund and/or go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

Many opponents still make a Connelly error by saying I-1033 'caps property tax increases' -- that's not accurate. I-1033 lowers property taxes by controlling the growth of general fund revenue for the state, counties and cities. Our 2001 initiative -- I-747 -- put a cap on property tax increases -- I-1033 caps increases in general fund revenue.

And what happens to excess tax revenues that government collects above I-1033’s limit? After a fixed percentage of tax revenue is transferred into the constitutionally protected rainy day fund, the remainder of excess tax revenues gets refunded back to taxpayers via lower property taxes.

Opponents of I-1033 pushed really hard for higher taxes and a state income tax during this year’s legislative session. Even Gov. Gregoire and the Democrats rejected doing that, which just shows that I-1033’s opponents are on the extreme fringe regarding tax policy.

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 10:41 a.m. Inappropriate


PJS "You misstate reference to "number 35." The data you are looking at ranks Washington as #35 for state and local taxes as a percentage of income. Move three columns to the left in the same table, and Washington is #16 in per capita state and local tax burden. Per capita seems at least as good a measure as a % of income is."

You're going to have to provide the link to the table you're looking at. I don't see the figures you cite. Here are the two links I find that cite Washington satte as 35th (1 being highest) in terms of state and local tax burden.

Go to http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/336.html

This table lists all the states by year. For 2008 Washington State is ranked 35th for "total state and local per capita taxes paid"

Thi is the same information given in
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/486.html
which I previously provided the link to above.

I am not trying to be fast and loose with my figures as Eyman is. If you can show me where what I cited was wrong please do so.

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 10:53 a.m. Inappropriate

"Interestingly, it appears that the Tax Foundation may be the source of Forbes's 8th in the nation statistic. According to the Tax Foundation, Washington state residents must work until April 16 in 2009 in order to pay all of their federal, state and local taxes this year. This is the 8th latest date among all of the 50 states."
PJS

This is why it's important to state previsely what you figures are referring to. You did that in noting the 8th in the nation above as including "Federal taxes".

That's not surprising if you consider another figure from the Tax Foundation's Tables. Washington State in 2008 had the 8th highest income per capita in the country.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/290.html

So eighth highest income per capita and 8th longest we have to work to pay local state and FEDERAL taxes. Not surprising.

But I-1033 doesn't deal with Federal taxes, it deals with state and local taxes, which the Tax Foundation says we rank number 35th in terms of "total state and local per capita taxes paid" Seems like we're on the low end of state and local tax burden. And Tim's complaint that we're overburdened with state and local taxes seems misdirected and inaccurate.

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 11:01 a.m. Inappropriate

Here's the link to the data that show Washington as the 8th last state to reach its Tax Freedom Day

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/387.html

Here's the link to the data that show Washington's tax burden on a per capita basis (8th) and as a % of income (35th).

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/336.html

My intent is not to say "you are fast and loose" or "faster and looser than". Rather, tax burden statistics can be used in any number of ways. When citing them, to be credible one must be very precise as to what one is measuring, or else one loses credibility.

What is a more important measurement --- per capita taxes or taxes as a % of income? Reasonable minds can differ --- this former student of Walter Blum believes that the economic and policy case for progressive taxation is tenuous at best, and certainly has the effect of penalizing the very economic behavior that the government should encourage.

PJS

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 11:06 a.m. Inappropriate

Many cities like Seattle don't have separate fire districts or water districts or library districts so I-1033 affects funding for our fire protection, police protection, water, electricity, libraries and much more. We can make our own decisions about who we want to represent us and how we want to be taxed. We don't need I-1033 to turn city, county and state government into the mess they have in California because of restrictive legislation on spending and revenue decisions.

I-1033 is like George Orwell's 1984. Tim Eyman's approach is big governemnt intruding into our local and county governments dictating what we can and can't do. Enough is enough. Vote No on I-1033.

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 11:56 a.m. Inappropriate

Thanks for responding PJS

I still don't see your information at the link you provided. You say
"Move three columns to the left in the same table, and Washington is #16 in per capita state and local tax burden. Per capita seems at least as good a measure as a % of income is."

I do think I know what you're referring to however. Going to the Tax Foundations Report entitled "State and Local Tax Burdens Dip as Income Growth Outpaces Tax Growth" http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf
I find in Table 6 a state by state comparison of "State and local tax collections per capita fiscal year 2008" In there it lists a figure of $4331 for Washington State and ranks that as 19th. So in terms of absolute dollars collected it says we rank 19th.

But the Tax Foundation says it does not believe this is the most accurate way to compare states since income varies by state and thus the ability to pay taxes varies by state. Washington State as I mentioned above ranks 8th highest in terms of income per capita.

In table 7 in this same report they compute "Taxes paid by residents divided by their income". This is where their ranking for Washington State of 35th comes from.

As the Tax Foundation notes "For 18 consecutive years the Tax Foundation
has published an estimate of the combined state-local tax burden shouldered by the residents of each of the 50 states. For each state,
we calculate the total amount paid by the residents in taxes, and we divide those taxes by the total income in each state to compute a “tax
burden” measure ...The goal is to focus not on the tax collectors
but on the taxpayers. That is, we answer the question: What percentage of their income are the residents of this state paying in state and local taxes?"

The point I'm trying to make here is that facts and figures regarding taxes need to be stated very carefully. The conservative Tax Foundation's analysis says to me that the Tim Eyman hype that state and local property taxes are an excessive burden to Washington taxpayers is overblown and not accurate.

That does not dispute the issue that for many low and middle income people it is a burden. But I-1033 doesn't help these homeowners like a Homestead Exemption or circuit breaker legislation would. It is a complicated measure that will make things worse because it transfers revenue collected from everyone in the form of mainly sales taxes to benefit property owners based on the amount of property they own. It is a reverse Robin Hood scheme that mostly will benefit wealthy property owners.

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 12:43 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS
It's amusing how you take Steve Zemke to task for detailing his reasoning for use the tax rating of 35th and yet you give Eyman a pass for tossing out the tax rating of 8th. You even produce your own undocumented rating of 16th.

Using per capita assumes everyone in the state makes the same income. Also including the federal income taxes skews the data against states with higher income. The Tax Foundation agrees with that assessment and points it out... "Because Connecticut's income per capita is higher than in any other state, its residents pay extraordinarily high federal income taxes." Washington State is a donor state to the federal government only getting 0.88 cents back for every dollar we send to the other Washington.

Another point is that the Tax Foundation includes cigarette and alcohol taxes in their calculations. So if you don't smoke or drink your tax burden goes down. It's possible that someone at the poverty level is paying more taxes than a millionaire in this state.

It's clear to me trying to use one metric to judge Washington's tax burden is riduculous. The Tax Foundation itself has at least four or five metrics for Washington State, but to judge I-1033's impacts you must only consider state and local taxes.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 1:26 p.m. Inappropriate

earlier post wrote: That does not dispute the issue that for many low and middle income people it is (property taxes are) a burden. But I-1033 doesn't help these homeowners like a Homestead Exemption or circuit breaker legislation would.

response: those alternatives are illegal in Washington state. Our state Constitution's Uniformity Clause mandates that all property be taxed uniformly. This constitutional protection protects all taxpayers but preventing government from doing a 'divide and conquer' strategy. It puts all of us in the same boat, meaning if they raise property taxes, they must increase them uniformly, and if there's a reduction in property taxes, they must be lowered uniformly. That's exactly what I-1033 does.

Those other proposals are totally illegal and unconstitutional in our state. They will never happen.

The only way for citizens to receive meaningful property tax relief is by abiding by our Constitution and lowering them uniformly and that's what I-1033 does.

Opponents only offer false proposals that are illegal under our state Constitution and will never happen.

Opponents want higher taxes and a state income tax and they oppose I-1033 because it stops that tax-hiking, family-budget-busting agenda.

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 1:27 p.m. Inappropriate

And as was pointed out earlier, both Forbes magazine and the Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom Day rank Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation. Taxpayers will benefit enormously from I-1033's policies which deter higher taxes.

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 1:32 p.m. Inappropriate

As pointed out earlier federal taxes have nothing to do I-1033. Therefore using the 8th ranking is idiotic.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 1:47 p.m. Inappropriate

From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

What I-1033 addresses is the marginal increase in the overall tax burden of Washington's citizens -- taxpayers pay federal taxes, state taxes, county taxes, city taxes and many other charges. The only way to accurately reflect the taxpayer's struggles is to analyze their overall tax burden and that's exactly what the Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom Day does ... and it shows Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation (Forbes magazine's 8th place ranking for Washington looks at state and local taxes only).

Higher taxes imposed by state government, county government, and city government increases the overall tax burden on Washington's citizens. I-1033 deters higher taxes, protecting taxpayers from an increase in their overall tax burden.

The only accurate way to assess citizens' tax burden is to look at the totality of it.

Washington's taxpayers need protection from higher taxes and relief from our state's crushing property tax burden -- and that's exactly what I-1033 does. And it does it NOT by slashing government revenues, but by allowing citizens to control the growth them, ensuring they grow at a sustainable rate that taxpayers can afford.

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 1:58 p.m. Inappropriate

Tax Foundation
Washington State property tax rank 21st. 50th is worst burden.
Washington State income tax rank 1st. 50th is worst burden. (We have no income tax.)
Washington State state and local taxes 35th. 1st is worst burden. "Washington's State/Local Tax Burden Below National Average"
Washington State income per capita 8th. Amazing concidence with Eyman's number.

Forbes rating also includes federal taxes "Thanks to California, the West Coast has a reputation for heavily taxing businesses. Washington, however, likes to spread the burden around, making it the leading Western state for taxes. There are low property taxes in the state, and no personal income taxemphasis mine

I wonder if Eyman checks any of his facts.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 2:10 p.m. Inappropriate

Mr Zemke - you did get my reference correctly; I meant right (not left) and might certainly have miscounted (16 vs 19).

The one area we do agree on is the need to be precise when citing statistics. I do not agree with the focus on taxes as a % of income, nor do I agree with your continued assertion that the Tax Foundation is conservative.

2 cents - per capita makes no assumption about peoples' income levels, contrary to your assertion. You impose your value judgment when interpreting the data, by assuming that income levels are important. You choose to live in a state without a state income tax. By choosing a tax regime without a state income tax, Washington's citizens have determined that income level is an illegitimate basis for determining the amount of state and local taxes paid. I happen to agree with that. If the citizens of Washington decide otherwise, they can always amend the state constitution to allow income taxes. (Good luck with that.)

What I find most interesting is the focus on taxes in the discussion of I-1033. Why isn't the focus on spending? In the current budget cycle, Washington's tax revenues are the highest in its history, as are the spending levels. Why do those in state government feel entitled to continue to spend more and more every year? This is a recession --- I'm expecting to make and spend less this year than last year. Why shouldn't government? Instead, it is spending more and collecting more taxes. Seems pretty basic to me --- government should spend less.

PJS

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 2:46 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

Per capita is an average of all people or workers and their income. By chosing to live in King County my per capita income is much higher than if I chose to live in Asotin County. It is pretty simple math.

I have not advocated for an income tax.

I-1033 does nothing about spending. We are discussing its impacts.

Government doesn't have the luxury of simply cutting expenses like you do. In good times and bad government still is required to maintain the roads, house prisoners, fight fires, police the streets, aid our vulnerable children and citizens. You can cut cable TV, lattes, eating out, or you can sell your car or house. Government can't do that. Governments run pretty lean and mean, contary to Eyman's criticism.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 2:58 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

The Forbes ranking is not for state and local taxes. In fact Forbes shows our state and local taxes to be below the national average. http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/22/state-local-tax-burden-personal-finance-map.html

These are your sources and they both say our property taxes are low. Forbes and the Tax Foundation essentially oppose I-1033.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 4:32 p.m. Inappropriate

The Forbes ranking has Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation.

The Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom Day ranks Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation.

Our state's crushing property tax burden needs to be lessened. And yes, the growth of government needs to match more closely with the growth of the economy so it doesn't grow faster than the taxpayers' ability to afford it.

Opponents of I-1033 offer no alternative other than 'trust the politicians' (who have failed to ever show any self-restraint) and higher taxes and a state income tax.

315,000 citizens think that I-1033 provides needed fiscal discipline and plenty of flexibility (rainy day funds, federal funds, voter-approved revenues) just like they previously had with I-601 (before they started punching loopholes in it).

Washington faces a property tax crisis and I-1033 is needed now more than ever.

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 8:49 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

You have a pretty low respect for voters when you continually roll out this throughly debunked 8th ranking.

I have a little more respect that the voting public knows the difference between federal taxes and property taxes.

The Tax Foundation and Forbes state in clear language our property taxes are low. Yet that is the tax Eyman supports cutting.

His hatred of government and politicians is clear.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 24, 10:22 p.m. Inappropriate

Dear Tim: Look up the word "logorrhea." You have it. Please shut up and go away.

ptdoug

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 9:57 a.m. Inappropriate

We're very proud of I-1033 and will continue to engage in debates over its merits, its policies, and its pro-taxpayer, pro-sustainability, pro-voter-control principles. Taxpayers, especially working families and fixed-income senior citizens, are really struggling and they need to be protected from higher taxes and a state income tax. And they're entitled to some long overdue property tax relief. I-1033 does that, not by slashing government revenues, but by controlling their growth.

That's reasonable, that's sustainable, that's what 315,444 citizens think is a better way to go.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 11:12 a.m. Inappropriate

2cents -

You state:

"Government doesn't have the luxury of simply cutting expenses like you do. In good times and bad government still is required to maintain the roads, house prisoners, fight fires, police the streets, aid our vulnerable children and citizens. You can cut cable TV, lattes, eating out, or you can sell your car or house. Government can't do that. Governments run pretty lean and mean, contary to Eyman's criticism."

You are flat wrong. First, I point you to a wonderful report by the Washington Policy Center regarding government waste in the state of Washington. (I assume that you will attack the source as a right-wing think tank. Fine. Then, if you disagree with the report, dispute the facts, not the source.)

http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/Centers/government/policybrief/08_guppy_piglet.html

Second, our state auditor believes that there is significant room for improvement and efficiency in state and local government operations. Instead of cutting his funding (as was recently proposed), how about implementing his proposals?

Third, a significant portion of government spending is compensation and benefits (health, pension, etc.). The state should simply adjust that spending to reflect the available tax revenue. Washington state employees are very richly compensated, particularly when the amazingly rich pension benefits and very low contribution to health care costs are considered. My compensation depends in large part on my business's revenue. Let's adjust the compensation packages of state employees to reflect the same reality.

PJS

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 3:37 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

I wonder if you even read the report. I practically reads like a love letter to the effiency of the state government. It identified approximately $150 million dollars in mostly one time expenditures as "waste". Out of a $30 billion dollar budget. That is perhaps 0.5% in "waste" if you took everything at face value. Of that "waste" is $132 million in community projects. You are certainly welcome to tell them they are wasting taxpayer money, but I bet the communities feel differently. If we used all those "savings" to fill the shortfall in this current biennum we would still be short $8 billion dollars.

At least go to a rabid right wing organization like EFF, but lo and behold their research puts Washington State 28th out of the 50 states in State+Local taxes per $1000 in personal income.

The right screamed for across the board cuts in state services. Suddenly for the State Auditor's performance audits the right demanded the audits be funded at a higher level. Nevertheless Brian Sonnetag is continuing the performance audits and the state agencies are acting on them. Often the performance audits offer pie in the sky proposals like eliminating ferry runs. Other "savings" like reducing traffic congestion come with a huge price tag to implement them.

Many jobs at the state take training and skills that require formal education. The state typically pays far below market rate. Your facts on your third point are amazingly thin.

2cents

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 3:48 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

Eyman is truly phoning this initiative in. Senior citizens already get property tax exemptions in this state.

Instead of the pennies I-1033 might save them, Washington State offers real tax relief for senior citizens. http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/Prop_Tax/SeniorExempt.pdf

Working families will have to pay out $100's of dollars for every penny I-1033 might pay. The Colorado experiment was an utter failure for working families. They had to pay out more for school supplies and college tutition and lost vital health, fire and police services.

2cents

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 4:56 p.m. Inappropriate


PJS,

Why is "tax burden per capita" more valid than "tax burden as a percentage of income"? Richer people demand greater amenities than do poor people: a clean environment, progressive and open government, excellent schools, public support for the arts. Washington has all of these things to a greater degree than most places. AND I LIKE IT!

I consider myself fortunate to live in a place that is this beautiful and where my neighbors (except three apparently -- Eyewash, Unobservant, and you) are smart and make a lot of money. I think that's a GOOD thing.

I think it's good especially since we're obviously getting good value for our tax dollar. We have a significantly higher median income than most states (we're 11th in the 2006-2007 biennium) and pay a lower percentage of our higher income for our government. Those amenities are not free, so it's like "Duh" that we will pay relatively more per capita than do the schmoes in Mississippi -- where they've built "a World Class platform for innovation" ..... on the backs of their exploited citizens.

We all know that you corporate flacks WANT Washington to look and act like Mississippi, where even most white folks say "Yas massuh!" to the corporadoes.

"The white politician whispers to the poor white man
You got more than the blacks don't complain
You're better than them, you been born with white skin
He explains
And the Negro's pain is used it is plain for the politician's gain
While the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game"

-- Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan). Right in 1962; right in 2009

Anandakos

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 5:04 p.m. Inappropriate


Eyewash,

I live in Vancouver -- no, not THAT Vancouver. Vancouver, USA!

Our house is assessed at $258,000 and this year we're paying $2,485 in property taxes, state and local. Neither my wife nor I am a Senior Citizen, so we have no special exemption.

In Oregon, where they also have a state income tax (which unfortunately I've also been paying for the past fifteen years, but getting pretty darn little for it), a house assessed at $250,000 would pay almost $4,000.

So why don't you move to Oregon and join Bill Sizeless in attacking property taxes that really ARE high? Leave us deluded liberals alone with our passion to pay more taxes.

Anandakos

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 6:01 p.m. Inappropriate

2 cents - of course I read the report. It was not intended to be an exhaustive list of wasteful projects. Rather, an example of the waste that occurs every year.

You say "[t]he right screamed for across the board cuts in state services." Didn't state spending go up in this budget cycle? How is increased spending considered a "cut?"

I don't have the backup for my third argument at my fingertips (I just came off of the golf course), but I am confident in their accuracy. However, if you have facts that contradict the argument, please share them. I do not believe that Washington state "typically pays far below market rate." My father is retiring as a state employee this year, and he (and my mother) will have a very comfortable six figure pension for the rest of their lives, courtesy of the taxpayers.

Anandakos - thank you for personal insult (but can't you do better than "corporate flack" or calling me "not smart"?). Name calling seems to be endemic to liberals when they don't have a rational argument to support their positions.

This is a beaut - "Richer people demand greater amenities than do poor people: a clean environment, progressive and open government, excellent schools, public support for the arts." What does this even mean, and where are your facts to support it?

You might, if you knew me, call me rich, but I certainly do not demand progressive government or public support for the arts. I attended many excellent schools, paid handsomely for the privilege and continue to support a number of those schools.

I won't indulge in your habit and insult you, but your arguments above are nonsensical.

PJS

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 9:26 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

That was your report on government "waste". I stand by my assertion that state government is lean and mean.

The population increased in Washington State and will continue to increase. Inflation also increased in Washington. That is why Eyman stole the population and inflation formula from the failure in Colorado. The trouble with formulas is that they don't account for reality. Our population is aging. There will be less income and greater Medicare and Medicaid increases. We have an aging prison population that continues to grow.

Your father is not a typical public employee earning a six figure pension, but I venture to guess if he took his experience to the private sector he would have earned a greater pension and salary. You asserted that state employees are richly compensated, prove your myth.

2cents

Posted Sat, Jul 25, 9:54 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033's formula of inflation plus population growth is from I-601 which was approved by Washington's voters in 1993 and in 2005, right after Gregoire became Governor, they eliminated I-601's limit. What happened? A massive $9 billion deficit.

I-1033 just brings back the successful fiscal discipline that I-601 provided for many years.

teyman

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 1:28 p.m. Inappropriate

Tim Eyman's comment that Homestead Exemptions and circuit breaker legislation are unconstitutional might be true if He wrote the legislation like the many initiatives of his that have been overturned by the Washington State Supreme Court. However like everything else, there are ways to draft legislation that would pass constitutional muster.

Here's one that would benefit both homeowners on their principal residence and small business owners. In the 2008 Legislative session HB 3162 was introduced with 24 sponsors. HR 3162 - Providing a property tax exemption for the first fifty thosand dollars of assessed value of commercial and residential real property.

You can see the bill here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2007-08/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/3162.pdf

The bill is short and the main text of interest here is:

"(1) Residential property is exempt from the state portion of the
property tax on fifty thousand dollars of assessed value.
(2) A commercial property owner may apply to the county assessor to
exempt fifty thousand dollars of assessed value for the state portion
of the property tax for a single parcel of property."

So constitutional expect Tim please tell us why this would be unconstitutional? Both commercial and residential property are being treated the same.

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 2:07 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

Let's compare and contrast.
I-1033 uses a yearly inflation and population formula, just like the Colorado failure. I-601 does not.
I-1033 includes cities and counties in the initiative, just like the Colorado failure. I-601 does not.

Eyman truly is showing a lack of respect for voters by pushing this piece of garbage. Even he can't defend it with one truthful fact.

2cents

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 2:20 p.m. Inappropriate

"What I-1033 addresses is the marginal increase in the overall tax burden of Washington's citizens -- taxpayers pay federal taxes, state taxes, county taxes, city taxes and many other charges"
Tim Eyman

So here's Tim's argument. Despite the fact that we rank 35th in state and local taxes nationally in terms of per capita tax burden but because we rank 8th nationally in terms of all taxes as a result of ranking 8th in terms of income per capita nationally we should decrease state and local taxes to have even less money available for state, county and city governments to fund police and fire protection, pay for kids education, fund libraries, roads, transit, and our parks.

It's probably because there is no national initiative that Tim can run, that he has decided to attack our local revenue and spending via an initiative process where he can misrepresent the facts and unnecessarily scare people. Of course if we have a national income tax and rank 8th highest in income per capita it's not surprising to see us as 8th on the Tax Foundation's Tax Freedon Days.

Besides our state and local tax buden per capita being 35th nationally last year, the Tax Foundation says that Washington State ranked 24th (with 1 being the highest) in terms of median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home value. see: http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/24078.html

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 2:51 p.m. Inappropriate

As noted previously Washington State already has a Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens. It also includes disabled people.

see:http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/Prop_Tax/SeniorExempt.pdf

"You must be at least 61 years old on December 31 of the application year, or unable to work because of a disability, or a veteran with a 100 percent service connected disability."

also "Your annual household disposable income may not exceed $35,000. If your household income is between $35,000 and $40,000, you may qualify for the deferral program."

If you truly want to help senior citizens, not just use them as campaign props to sell something else, increase the amount of property tax valuation that can be exempted on these folks principal residence.
That is actually a form of Homestead Exemption type legislation which the Washington State Legislature can do and has done.

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 3:01 p.m. Inappropriate

Benton, Clallam, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pacific, Skamania, Spokane, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima could all get the double whammy of having a lower economic baseline to work from, plus a net loss in population. Their services would be devastated. This doesn't even include the hundreds of cities who might have a population loss.

2cents

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 3:46 p.m. Inappropriate

The state already offers property tax exemptions and deferrals for senior citizens and working families.
-Property Tax Exemption Program for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
-Property Tax Deferral Program for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
-Property Tax Deferral Program for Homeowners with Limited Income
-Property Tax Assistance Program for Widows or Widowers of Veterans

I-1033 would likely force the state to increase the qualifications or outright eliminate those programs.

Clearly Eyman's desire is to fundraise from the wealthy beneficiaries of I-1033's tax cuts, while ignoring the hard working tax payers of this state.

2cents

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 6:35 p.m. Inappropriate

Those bills were all illegal which likely contributed to them NOT BEING PASSED despite mega-majority Democrat control. The only way to address our state's property tax crisis is with I-1033.

Taxpayers are being crushed by sky-high sales taxes, property taxes, utility taxes, and passed on higher prices because of expensive business taxes. Taxpayers need relief which is exactly what I-1033 provides.

State government, counties and cities are clearly riding the fiscal roller coaster, overextending themselves during good times and slashing during bad times. This up-and-down, boom-bust style of budgeting is what Gregoire keeps saying she wants to move away from. But she and the Democrats in 2005 removed I-601's reasonable 'inflation-plus-population-growth' limit, which resulted in the another fiscal roller coaster ending with a $9 billion deficit.

I-1033 makes sure that they don't make the same mistake again. Growth that is reasonable, sustainable, with the safety valve allowing bigger increases with voters' approval.

Taxes are hurting Washington's citizens and opponents not only have no alternative to lessen that burden, they advocate an even higher tax burden, especially a state income tax. You just don't get it.

Citizens support I-1033 because it reasonably addresses very real problems (our state's crushing property tax burden and politicians' inability to show fiscal restraint).

we hope voters will consider our rationale for I-1033 as they decide how to vote in November.

teyman

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 8:35 p.m. Inappropriate

2 cents -

Here are the facts, courtesy of the Washington Policy Center and Department of Commerce:

"Average annual compensation for full-time state employees
tops $66,000. This includes a salary of more than $53,000, plus a
generous $13,000 benefit package including medical coverage, free
dental care, a comfortable 401(k) retirement plan, a minimum of 12
days paid vacation, 10 paid holidays each year, and protective union
rules that virtually guarantee lifelong employment.

The average annual salary for a typical Washington state
resident is about $40,414.18."

Of course, the state employees' comp doesn't decline during a recession, while private sector employees' do. How about an across-the-board 24% pay cut for all state employees, to bring the average state employee's salary in line with that of the average Washingtonian's?

PJS

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 8:38 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

What bills are you refering to?
-Property Tax Exemption Program for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
-Property Tax Deferral Program for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
-Property Tax Deferral Program for Homeowners with Limited Income
-Property Tax Assistance Program for Widows or Widowers of Veterans
Those are all laws. Some dating back to 1975. The RCW's and WAC's are refered to at this website.
http://dor.wa.gov/Content/FindTaxesAndRates/PropertyTax/IncentivePrograms.aspx

2cents

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 8:51 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 at best only provides relief for large prperty owners. It is a wealth transfer scheme, a reverse Robin Hodd type program, that transfers funds from sales taxes when the economy is booming to provide a special tax break to property owners. The more property you own, the more you will bnefit.

If you have a McMansion and a second home you will benefit or if you own business property you'll be helped. If you're Boeing or Weyerhauser or a real estate developer or a shopping mall owner you'll love 1033. But lower and middle income homeowners won't see much change.

Everyone pays sales tax but only 65% of Washington households are owner occupied. Thus 1/3 of households, even though they pay sales tax, won't get the tax break. Aso about 40% of parerty taxes are commercial.

A sales tax reduction when times are good would make more sense, not a transfer of money to wealthy property owners.

Or increasing the property tax exemption for senior citizens and the disabled would benefit those with the least options to deal with any rise in property taxes.

We can do better. Vote No on I-1033 this November.

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 9:26 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

While that is better evidence, it is hardly convincing. Using a state average and using a state employee average is like comparing a dishwasher's salary to a head cook's salary.

There are not nearly the amount of entry level jobs at the state verses the private sector. Many state jobs require four year degrees if not masters. I doubt your father's position was an entry level position.

I still maintain an apples to apples comparision of like position to like position would show the state employee is paid less even with compensation added in.

2cents

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 9:27 p.m. Inappropriate

Previous post: We can do better.

response: But Olympia hasn't done anything for decades. Property taxes keep hurting more and more people and the state, counties, and cities continue to show zero fiscal self-restraint resulting in fiscal roller coasters that even the Governor has said is unacceptable. Yet nothing has been done about it.

Anything but an overwhelming 'yes' vote for I-1033 will be seen by politicians as the people's endorsement of the status quo on property taxes. It'd be seen as the voters opposing property tax relief. They've done nothing for decades and the defeat of I-1033 will ensure decades more of inaction.

I-1033 provides a great opportunity for the voters to control the growth of government, provide needed fiscal discipline, and lessen the crushing property tax burden on struggling working families and senior citizens.

teyman

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 9:59 p.m. Inappropriate

2cents -

You asked for data, I gave you data. You respond with conjecture.

To wit, "Many state jobs require four year degrees if not masters." You mean like the guys working in the state parks? Working on road crews? Let's look at www.careers.wa.gov. Do you think "Custodian" or "Office Assistant 3" or "Office Assistant 1" require a masters or a PhD? Give me a break.

I'm suggesting that it's not that difficult --- structure a state employee compensation system that enables adjustments downward in recessions. That's the way the real world works! For some reason unknown to me, this common sense approach has not been implemented.

I have come to believe that the only way to rein in governmental spending is to limit revenue. I do not believe in the initiative process, but believe that our elected officials have failed us for too long in this state.

PJS

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 11 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

Your data from the Washington Policy Center is nothing but conjecture itself. Shall we assume everyone in this state earns a dividend because the per capita dividends are $3020? That is nonsense.

Clearly at careers.wa.gov the great majority of jobs require a degree. Compare that with any zip code at monster.com and there are far fewer jobs requiring a degree. Frankly I never mentioned PhD's, but clearly universities and state hospitals are just two that require doctors on staff.

You seem to believe that restructuring the state employee compensation would be an easy fix to our budget crisis. I-1033 does not address that. Why would you buy a Yugo when you wanted to buy a Mercedes?

I-1033 is an initiative of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy, the common taxpayer be damned.

2cents

Posted Sun, Jul 26, 11:58 p.m. Inappropriate

Tim,

You're on a rant. We're No 35 in terms of state and local tax burden according to the national Tax Foundation.

Property taxes hurting more and more people? Where's the populist outrage? You didn't answer the question above as to where all the petitions are that you claimed people sent you. Looks like only 11% of your signatures were collected by the "grassroots".

We have tax relief for seniors and disabled people. A deferral was recently passed for senior citizens.

Your own initiative limits overall property taxes to 1% a year which is below inflationand results in decreasing revenues.

People will support a good law providing a balance on taxes and spending but that is not I-1033. It proved a disaster in Colorado.

Vote No on a special property tax break for business and wealthy property owners.
Vote No on I-1033 this November.

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 8:30 a.m. Inappropriate

Yours is a defense of the status quo. Citizens deserve property tax relief and politicians need help to control the growth of government.

teyman

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 8:54 a.m. Inappropriate

During the signature drive for I-695 in 1999, a legislator famously said "where's the populist outrage - no one has ever come before my legislative committee to testify against high car tabs" -- and a few weeks later hundreds of thousands of voters registered their populist outrage when we turned in our petitions.

You're in an Olympia bubble if the only way to show outrage is what legislators hear in a committee hearing. that's what the initiative process is all about.

if there wasn't a property tax crisis, 315,444 citizens wouldn't have signed I-1033 petitions. if there wasn't a problem with government irresponsibility resulting in fiscal roller coasters and $9 billion deficits, 315,444 citizens wouldn't have signed I-1033 petitions.

Our opponents want higher taxes and a state income tax and they claim they want property tax relief but only with proposals that are illegal under our state Constitution and that mega-majority Democrats refused to pass.

I-1033 is the only opportunity the people have to receive meaningful property tax relief and to instill fiscal discipline by bringing back I-601's successful policies.

teyman

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 10:36 a.m. Inappropriate

Misrepresenting an issue and giving people false hope will get lots of peole to sign an initiative. How many have actually read the initiative is another matter. I-1033 gives people false hope that it will save them property taxes when the people who benefit the most are large commerical interests and owners of McMansions and second homes.

I-1033 is a wealth transfer scheme that would benefit wealthy property owners and large commercial and business interests at the expense of those who pay sales taxes. When the economy is good, rather than investing in education at the K-12 and college level to provide jobs in the high tech industry and other growth sectors I-1033 will send this money to Boeing and Weyerhauser and other corporate landowners.

Washington State is number 35 (1 being highest) in terms of local and state tax burden according to the Tax Foundation. I-1033 is not needed but will push Washington State further in the direction of Colorado which suffered severely under I-1033 type legislation. California's problems also party stem from over restrctive legislation tying the hands of lawmakers from making decisions to benefit the public.

I-1033 is the vision of those who hate government and think it can do no good. It is Tim Eyman style government in the terms of George Orwell's Big Brother. We don't need big brother Eyman legislation dictating how we should run our city and county and state government. We have the power to elect our legislators and also toss them out of office.

Vote your self interest and keep local control of government. Don't turn it over to Tim Eyman to decide if we should fund schools and parks and roads and transit and libraries and college. Vote No on I-1033 this November.

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 10:43 a.m. Inappropriate

no alternative offered by opponents, only higher taxes and a state income tax. No alternative to property tax relief other than illegal schemes that can't work under Washington's Constitution and aren't even supported by majority Democrats.

teyman

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 1:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Can somebody please explain how Colorado's experience was bad?

PJS

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 1:32 p.m. Inappropriate


Jammies,

It's a demonstrated fact that as societies get richer they demand a cleaner environment, more responsive government, increased arts spending, and other social goods. Show me one reasonably free society that has gotten richer for more than thirty years that did not give rise to powerful political movements that demanded these things. Now YOU may not care about those things, but there is always a cohort two normal distributions to the left of the median in any normal curve.

While you're enlightening the unwashed rest of us about this mythical John Galtish Erewhon, let us know exactly how you're not a "corporate flack". If you were/are a successful small business owner then I'll take it back and freely give an apology. If you worked IN a corporation but as something other than a mid to upper-level manager, ditto. People are free to draw their own conclusions about economics, point taken.

But your posts sound so much like the eruptions of a VP of Finance that the aroma of long conference rooms with J. Wattles McDuck presiding wafts through my CRT when I read one of them. Please don't try to pawn being a business attorney off as not being a "corporate flack", unless you were an ambulance chaser suing the chiselers.

And about the state employee compensation argument with 2cents, he's got you seven ways from Sunday. Your apples to rutabagas comparison between average compensation for a "FULL-TIME (emphasis added) state employee" to "a typical Washington resident" is either so mendacious it deserves removal from Crosscut or so lacking in mathematical rigor that it needs no rebuttal. However, I'm a sucker for kicking those who are down, so I'll rebut.

As 2cents points out, except for clerical staff and road crew laborers, most state jobs require a four year degree at a minimum, while only 29.7 % of Washingtonians over 25 have one. So a state worker is probably twice as likely to have such a degree as "a typical Washington resident". Is the Party of Reward and Responsibility now saying that because they work for taxpayers who are on the whole less skilled and less intelligent than they are -- all state workers DO have to pass some sort of ranked exam, albeit they are more subjective than they used to be -- they should therefore be willing to work for an even greater discount than at present to the average private sector compensation for their education level? Why, that sounds almost --- cue Rod Serling .... ooo-ooooooooh-oooh -- SOCIALIST!!! That's really it, isn't it? Socialism for rich people's profits; a free market is taxpayer burdens.

P.S.

Not to mention that on average about 6% of "typical Washington resident(s)" are unemployed at any one time, while by definition no "full-time state employee" is unemployed.

Anandakos

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 1:45 p.m. Inappropriate


Jammies,

You asked, "Can somebody please explain how Colorado's experience was bad?"

Why don't you ask Coloradans. They're the ones who took a "time out" from TABOR in 2005.

Anandakos

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 2:03 p.m. Inappropriate


Folks,

The proper quotation should have been:

"The SOUTH politician whispers to the poor white man..."

Lo siento.

Anandakos

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 4:54 p.m. Inappropriate

Does anybody have any idea what Anandakos is saying? Is his "Jammies" reference to me? Did he insult me again?

Sorry Anandakos, I won't turn the tables and insult you. Is it standard operating procedure for liberals to insult those with whom they disagree? You appear either to disregard or to be ignorant of the rules of English grammar. Is this also standard liberal operating procedure?

I'm sorry but both Anandakos's and 2 cents's responses to my arguments boil down to "you can't be right" followed by a couple of naked (ie, unsupported by facts) assertions and/or anecdotes. That seems to be a typical liberal response to facts when they so inconveniently rebut the liberals' positions.

PJS

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 9:49 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

Yes Anandakos is making fun of your name. Your moniker is also a term for pajamas.

I stand by my data and you stand by your data. I find it extremely tiresome when conservatives throw around the word liberal when that are losing the debate. I researched your data and I found it less than compelling.

State spending appears to be your central issue for leaning toward I-1033. Yet it do not address state spending, it addresses revenue. Additionally it does not address state revenue, it impacts every county and city in the state.

Eyman doesn't even know what his initiative is about. Why would anyone vote for an initiative its own sponsor doesn't understand?

2cents

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 10:06 p.m. Inappropriate

previous post: Additionally it (I-1033) does not address state revenue

response: of course it does. I-1033 reenacts the reasonable fiscal policies of I-601 which worked for many years to provide state government with some discipline, removing the peaks and valleys of the fiscal roller coaster. I-1033 brings back I-601's successful policies and extends those same principles to counties and cities. That's nothing but a good thing.

I-1033 allows government to grow, but at a sustainable rate that citizens can control and taxpayers can afford. And it dedicates excess tax revenue above I-1033's limit first to the constitutionally-protected rainy day fund and the remainder of excess tax revenues get refunded back to taxpayers via lower property taxes.

teyman

Posted Mon, Jul 27, 10:25 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

Read a post before you go off half cocked. That is what I said in the previous sentence, "Yet it do not address state spending, it addresses revenue."

Jeses, you can't even truthfully quote a blog posting. This initiative does not just impact state revenue. This initiative impacts every county and city in the state. It's clear you hate the Governor and the Legislature, but to paint this initiative as only being about state revenue is clearly a lie.

2cents

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 1:01 p.m. Inappropriate

I wrote: I-1033 reenacts the reasonable fiscal policies of I-601 which worked for many years to provide state government with some discipline, removing the peaks and valleys of the fiscal roller coaster. I-1033 brings back I-601's successful policies and extends those same principles to counties and cities. That's nothing but a good thing.

it's odd for anyone to read that and claim that we're not telling voters that I-1033 brings fiscal discipline to the state, counties, and cities.

teyman

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 3:27 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 does not reeact I-601.

I-1033 uses a different population and inflation formula than 601.
I-1033 includes counties and cities.

Comparing I-1033 to I-601 is another falsehood.

2cents

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 3:50 p.m. Inappropriate

I-601 had a "inflation plus population growth limit - Gregoire and the D's repealed it, I-1033 brings it back.

and as written before, I-1033 brings back I-601's successful policies and extends those same principles to counties and cities.

teyman

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 4:32 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 does not reinstitute I-601 that is clearly a lie. The formulas and the mechanisms are totally different.

I-1033 is a bad rehash of the Colorado failure.

2cents

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 6:18 p.m. Inappropriate

I-601 had a "inflation plus population growth" limit - Gregoire and the D's repealed it, I-1033 brings it back.

and as written before, I-1033 brings back I-601's successful policies and extends those same principles to counties and cities.

teyman

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 7:44 p.m. Inappropriate

If you wanted to reenact I-601 you should've reintroduced I-601. Instead you rehashed the failed policies of Colorado's initiative.

Retelling a lie over and over again does not make it true.

2cents

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 10:35 p.m. Inappropriate

I-601 had a "inflation plus population growth" limit - Gregoire and the D's repealed it in 2005, resulting in a $9 billion deficit, I-1033 brings it back.

and as written before, I-1033 brings back I-601's successful policies and extends those same principles to counties and cities.

teyman

Posted Tue, Jul 28, 11:13 p.m. Inappropriate

Retelling a lie over and over and over again does not make it true.

2cents

Posted Wed, Jul 29, 9:47 a.m. Inappropriate

From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

always credible when opponents of I-1033, opponents of I-601, and supporters of higher taxes and a state income tax make it sound like they would support some kind of limit on government's taxing power, just not the one at issue.

gimmee a break.

voters HAVE been renewing I-601 year by year. starting in 2007, they renewed the 2/3's requirement for tax hikes (I-960, one of our initiatives) and created a constitutionally protected rainy day fund. Now, with I-1033, they can bring back I-601's successful and reasonable "inflation plus population growth" limit that worked really well for many years ... until Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of it in 2005. That's why caused the completely unsustainable spending binge of 33% over 4 years ... and that's what set them up for a $9 billion deficit.

Bringing back a reasonable limit on government's growth - as I-1033 provides - is exactly what's needed to make sure Gregoire and the Democrats don't repeat the same mistake they made during her first term.

Politicians have zero fiscal self-restraint - they've proven it time and again. they need help from the people to ensure they don't turn into a bunch of kids at Toys R Us.

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 29, 4:13 p.m. Inappropriate

The #8 number:
Washington is #8 in total taxes paid per capita because we have a high average income, and the federal income tax is progressive.

Per capita vs. Percentage-of-income:
Per Capita is going to be higher because, as mentioned above, Washingtonians have a higher per capita income. We pay more per capita than they do in South Carolina because we make more per capita. It's also more expensive to live here. I guarantee teachers, policemen, bus drivers and everyone else who works for the state makes more in Washington than they do in South Carolina.

$9B deficit:
Would that be the one that has been brought on by the biggest recession since World War 2? How is that the result of "binge" spending? And, by the way, what is it that you believe the Dems have been binging on? Give me an example of the "Toys R Us" spending you're talking about.

Colin

Posted Wed, Jul 29, 8:54 p.m. Inappropriate

Both Forbes magazine and the Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom Day rank Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation.

Washington state's taxpayers deserve some relief, especially when it comes to our state's crushing property tax burden.

teyman

Posted Wed, Jul 29, 9:26 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 does not cut federal taxes. It can not and it never will. The eighth ranking is sololy due to federal taxes paid by millionaires and billionaires who live in this state. Using the eighth ranking is a goofy falsehood.

Retelling a lie over and over and over and over again does not make it true.

2cents

Posted Wed, Jul 29, 11:03 p.m. Inappropriate

The 8th ranking looks at overall tax burden - and that overall tax burden will increase if opponents get their way and impose higher taxes and a state income tax. I-1033 puts some reasonable brake on the ever-increasing tax burden on Washington's citizens. It refunds excess tax revenues back to taxpayers via lower property taxes. It allows money to be setaside in rainy day funds.

Politicians have a horrible track record when it comes to fiscal self-restraint. Gregoire's first term is the poster child for how not to do budgets.

I-1033 brings back I-601's successful fiscal discipline and provides meaningful property tax relief.

Opponents want higher taxes and a state income tax. Opponents think that families and senior citizens are UNDERTAXED. Opponents are in la la land when it comes to tax policy in Washington.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Thu, Jul 30, 7:15 p.m. Inappropriate

Eyman clearly has zero respect for the voters repeating lies and half truths.

The state is ranked 35th by the Tax Foundation for state and local taxes.

Eyman does not believe in government at all. He has no need for public schools, police protection, fire protection or the courts. He can live in his secured community in Mukilteo and laugh at people who depend on government.

The initiative process was never set up to make a profit on yet Eyman does from Dunmire, Kemper Freeman and ultraconservative out of state organizations.

During the worst economic crisis in recent history somehow he was able to obtain a $250,000 loan from US Bank. Meanwhile many of us could not get a car loan even with a job and good credit.

Eyman equal far from reality as he does from truth.

2cents

Posted Fri, Jul 31, 12:52 p.m. Inappropriate

As written earlier, opponents have raised $52,500 so far ($25,000 from the Washington Education Association, $25,000 from the WA Service Employees Int'l Union SEIU, $2500 from the WA Council of County & City Employees).

3 groups, no individuals, that's it.

It was these same groups (and the groups that will join them) that pushed very hard for big tax hikes and a state income tax during the last legislative session AND EVEN GREGOIRE AND THE DEMOCRATS rejected doing that. In other words, these groups are on the absolute far-left fringe. Opponents are against ANY limit on government's ability to unilaterally take as much as they want from the taxpayers.

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 31, 12:54 p.m. Inappropriate

As far as support for I-1033 is concerned, we've received 2063 individual donations totalling $664,769 so far. 2063 -- that's really extraordinary -- it's clear that I-1033 has a very broad base of grassroots support. Supporter Mike Dunmire is a real rock star among our supporters -- he's inspired many to contribute because of his leadership and support. His $300,000 contribution, along with my $250,000 loan from a 2nd mortgage on my house, certainly helped a lot, but we value everyone who contributes to our efforts, especially during these tough economic times.

out of the 48,148 supporters who were mailed a I-1033 petition in February, an extraordinary 34,588 sent back a partially filled or fully filled petition, and 315,444 citizens signed a petition.

Thanks to all those people who worked so hard, the voters will have the opportunity to vote in November for lower property taxes by controlling the growth of government.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Fri, Jul 31, 2:29 p.m. Inappropriate

Mr. Eyman,
Do you have a response to my question? Here it is again:

What is it that you believe the Dems have been binging on? Give me an example of the "Toys R Us" spending you're talking about that must be controlled.

Colin

Posted Fri, Jul 31, 3:45 p.m. Inappropriate

33% increase over 4 years -- that's completely unsustainable. It's pig at the trough - if shows a total lack of fiscal discipline and self-restraint.

If they can't sustain their growth over the long-run (or frankly, even for the short-run) then they need help. And I-1033 does that, not by reducing government revenues, but by controlling their growth so that they can grow at a reasonable, sustainable rate. And if government decides that the automatic increase under I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, then they can use revenue in their rainy day fund and/or go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

that's reasonable, that's sustainable, that's what 315,444 citizens think is a better way to go.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Sat, Aug 1, 12:51 p.m. Inappropriate

Wow, Mr. Eyman, that's a whole bunch of people! I gotta wonder though why, if you have so many avid supporters, you waited until this election year to bring the issue? Was it not a valid concern until just this year or is it that your fringe causes don't do so well when there's large voter turnout?

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 2:25 p.m. Inappropriate

Actually I-1033 freezes government spending at the current level. It does not allow for real growth. Adjusting for inflation and population growth only maintains the ability of government to pay for existing services at their inflation adjusted cost the next year. That means no additional funding for programs beyond the previous year's programs.

And in recessionary cycles it ratchets down the baseline level. Thats because the new spending level is set based on the preceeding years spending level. In hard times like this year, spending was reduced and programs cut for education and health care and senior citizens and much more. The only way under I-1033 to again fund these programs nexy year is a vote of the people for new taxes. That takes an election and costs money and delays. And that what Eyman wants.

But please read I-1033 and understand what it really does. It is a complex wealth transfer scheme also meant to freeze government programs, making it difficult to respond to changing needs, emergencies and increase needs.

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 3:05 p.m. Inappropriate

Repeating false statements don't make them true.

"out of the 48,148 supporters who were mailed a I-1033 petition in February, an extraordinary 34,588 sent back a partially filled or fully filled petition," as stated repeatedly by Tim Eyman

Since the Washington Secretary of State said that Eyman only turned in 19,317 petitions either Tim lost a bunch of petitions or what he meant to say is that out of 48,148 petitions he mailed out to the grassroots, he only got back 34,588 signatures.

That represents only 11% of the signatures he turned in. So 89% of the signatures came from paid signatiure gatherers.

Of the signatures Eyman turned in, some 12% represented duplicates or people who weren't registered to vote. Hence a more accurate count is that some 277,591 voters signed the petitions.

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 3:23 p.m. Inappropriate

Tim Eyman loves to quote a Forbes article as his source of WA being highly taxed. The Forbes article has been repeatedly refuted including by the Wa State Dept of Revebue because of its inaccuracies.

Here is what the Washington State Department of Revenue says:

"Tax rankings are a popular way of comparing tax burdens among states, but the results can be misleading. A recent report by Forbes Magazine that Washington ranked eighth-highest in personal taxes per capita is an example of how apples sometimes get compared to oranges.

The Forbes comparison purports to only count personal taxes paid by state residents, but erred by mistakenly counting Washington’s Business and Occupation Tax as a personal tax while excluding corporate income and other business taxes paid in other states. That error occurred because the Census Bureau classifies the B&O; tax as a sales tax, and the Forbes analysts failed to notice that. Excluding the B&O; tax as it should have done would have dropped Washington’s ranking substantially. In addition, because the ranking only compares certain state taxes and leaves out local taxes, the Forbes ranking fails to take into account some unique aspects of Washington’s tax system.

Washington has a state school property tax levy that flows into the state general fund only to be redistributed to local schools. In other states, all property taxes for schools remain at the local level. The ranking also assumes that only individuals pay sales and property taxes, when in fact businesses pay a substantial share. The only accurate way to compare tax burdens is by comparing both state and local taxes among states. By that measure, Washington ranks 19th-highest per capita and 35th-highest in taxes as a percentage of personal income, http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf. Economists generally prefer measuring as a percentage of personal income because it takes into account economic activity and demand for services. Rankings have become a popular staple among certain national publications, but they can be misleading. The most recent Forbes ranking is one of those. After being contacted by the Department, Forbes subsequently published a tax ranking based on the Tax Foundation’s analysis."

Here is the link to the WA Dept of Revenue statement http://dor.wa.gov/Content/GetAFormOrPublication/PublicationBySubject/TaxTopics/TaxRankings.aspx

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 3:24 p.m. Inappropriate

Opponents want higher taxes and a state income tax -- they think taxpayers are UNDERTAXED. I-1033 brings back the successful fiscal discipline of I-601, policies that Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of in 2005, resulting in a $9 billion deficit. I-1033 reinstates a reasonable limit on government's growth and if government thinks the automatic increase allowed by I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, then they can go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

raising taxes and imposing a state income tax, the fervent desire of I-1033's opponents, will only make things worse. I-1033's fiscal discipline will make sure that government doesn't face a $9 billion deficit ever again.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 6:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Opponents don't want to become like Colorado or California Tim. I-1033 is a freeze on government spending by cities, counties and the state. It takes away local control of taxpayers and citizens to make their own decisions on taxes and spending by hogtying legislators and city council people and county council people to an artifical formula written without public review and input like a bill in the legislature gets.

I-1033 does not let government grow in that all it does is allow existing programs to keep pace with inflation and population growth. It actually will reduce governemnt spending each time there is a recession or downturn in the economy because each years spending is based on the previous years spending. If less revenue comes in like this year, the baseline ratchets down and money available to fund programs cut can only be replaced by a vote of the people.

The cities, counties and state need the ability to make decisions in a timely manner. Holding elections repeatedly to try to raise revenue is a very inefficient way to run government.

Folks, don't be fooled by the smooth talking Eyman trying to sell this as a break on your property taxes. The main beneficiaries would be rich property owners and shopping malls and corporations like Boeing, and Weyerhauser.

What you also won't see is your sales taxes going to pay for senior homecare, creating jobs, fixing roads, increasing transit or funding for education, colleges, children's health care or libraries. Any increase in sales taxes you pay next year will help Boeing and other corporations pay their property taxes.

This is not a measure to control spending, it is a measure to freeze spending into the future and decrease it everytime there is a recession with no chance of ever catching up to the needs of our citizens. And when
the economy is bad is when we most need government help like with unemployment insurance and health care.

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 7:50 p.m. Inappropriate

Opponents don't deny that they think taxpayers are UNDERTAXED. Opponents don't deny that they want higher taxes and a state income tax. Colorado and California have income taxes - Washington doesn't. Opponents desperately want Washington to emulate other states that have income taxes.

I-1033 brings back the successful fiscal discipline of I-601, policies that Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of in 2005, resulting in a $9 billion deficit. I-1033 reinstates a reasonable limit on government's growth and if government thinks the automatic increase allowed by I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, then they can go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

raising taxes and imposing a state income tax, the fervent desire of I-1033's opponents, will only make things worse. I-1033's fiscal discipline will make sure that government doesn't face a $9 billion deficit ever again.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 10:20 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman seems to be the only one obsessed with an income tax.

The surest way to encourage an income tax is to vote for this tax cut for the wealthy. I-1033 will destroy tax collections for every city and county as well as the state. Our property taxes are considered low by both the Tax Foundation and Forbes.

Consider the alternate if you are considering voting for this imported far right idea.

2cents

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 10:35 p.m. Inappropriate

The backers of the NO on I-1033 campaign were the biggest pushers for the state income tax and higher taxes during the last few legislative sessions. Even Gregoire and the D's weren't that nuts. It just shows how out of the mainstream and extreme the opponents are when it comes to tax policy.

Times good? raise taxes, impose a state income tax.

Times bad? raise taxes, impose a state income tax.

Opponents think property taxes are TOO LOW, opponents think we're UNDERTAXED. We're talking cuckoo, crazy-in-love with higher taxes.

I-1033 puts a reasonable limit on the growth of our overall tax burden. Opponents are freaking out about not allowing the government to grow exponentially without limits.

I-1033 brings back the successful fiscal discipline that I-601 showed works ... until Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of it in 2005? the result? overextending themselves during good times - creating unsustainable budgets -- leading to a big crash and a $9 billion deficit.

Gregoire provided a poster child of how not to do budgets in her first term. Reasonable, sustainable, stable growth with taxpayers controlling how fast government grows and lower property taxes if government collects excess tax revenue.

sounds a whole lot better than more $9 billion deficits.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 10:58 p.m. Inappropriate

teyman

How quickly the far right chose to rewrite history.

Thanks to the investment bankers culture that Eyman's benefactor Michael Dunmire was a part of, we are facing the worst economic crisis since the Depression. Investment bankers from Washington Mutual to Lehman Brothers greedy destroyed the economy.

Not surprisingly Eyman wants to turn attention on the Governor and Legislature who did not raise taxes facing a $9 billion dollar revenue shortfall. I guess it helps to live in the rarified air of Mukilteo where $250,000 unsecured loans from Minneapolis based US Bank are a dime a dozen.

2cents

Posted Sun, Aug 2, 11:55 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 would result in a transfer of wealth from those that pay sales tax to wealthy property owners. It does not lower sales taxes. It will not help senior citizens on fixed incomes or working class families. It is an attempt to freeze governemnet spending at current levels and in times of resession like we are in now it will lower even further revenue avialable to pay for public services in future years.

If you want to see the problems California had and Colorado had in this state I-1033 will bring them here. Our Governor and Legislature did not raise taxes in the current budget but cut them. A nation economy tanking because of conservative free market no regulation by Republicans greatly contributed to not just Washington State's problems but those of every other state.

see http://no1033.com/truth/ to read the truth about I-1033 and the impact it would have on our state.

Posted Mon, Aug 3, 7:57 a.m. Inappropriate

Opponents don't deny that they think taxpayers are UNDERTAXED. Opponents don't deny that they want higher taxes and a state income tax. Colorado and California have income taxes - Washington doesn't. Opponents desperately want Washington to emulate other states that have income taxes.

I-1033 brings back the successful fiscal discipline of I-601, policies that Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of in 2005, resulting in a $9 billion deficit. I-1033 reinstates a reasonable limit on government's growth and if government thinks the automatic increase allowed by I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, then they can go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

raising taxes and imposing a state income tax, the fervent desire of I-1033's opponents, will only make things worse. I-1033's fiscal discipline will make sure that government doesn't face a $9 billion deficit ever again.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Mon, Aug 3, 12:05 p.m. Inappropriate

I'll let Mr. Eyman defend the veracity of his statements. However, Mr Zemke and 2cents, I'm disappointed that you resort to name calling ("far right") and a focus on the messenger. It is clear that you dislike Mr. Eyman, and your dislike clouds your message.

I note that you both make some misstatements of your own.

"In hard times like this year, spending was reduced." This is certainly not true at the state level --- spending is at an all-time high.

"I-1033 is a freeze on government spending by cities, counties and the state." I don't think that's true. It uses the current budget --- the biggest spending budget in Washington state history --- as a baseline, then allows it to grow based on inflation on population growth. How is that a "freeze"?

"[I]t is a measure to freeze spending into the future and decrease it everytime there is a recession with no chance of ever catching up to the needs of our citizens." How will this actually happen? We are in a recession currently, but state spending has not decreased --- it has increased. What makes you think that I-1033 will ever result in decreased spending?

"Investment bankers from Washington Mutual to Lehman Brothers greedy destroyed the economy." We can debate the underlying argument here, but the statement itself is false --- Washington Mutual had plenty of commercial bankers, but no investment bankers. Big difference.

I haven't decided how to vote on I-1033, but when you make statements that are simply false, it does not help your anti-1033 argument with this voter.

PJS

Posted Mon, Aug 3, 5:53 p.m. Inappropriate

PJS

You might argue about Eyman's other initiatives, but I-1033 is a seriously far right initiative. The initiative has been heavily funded by conservative groups and Eyman himself has been funded by the far right Sam Adams Alliance.

For many counties and cities it will be a freeze if not a reduction. A net loss in population or an economic downturn would spell disaster for small cities and counties. Remember not all counties and cities are Seattle and King County.

I am not sure about the nit you pick about commericial verses investment bankers. Clearly both were at fault in this manmade financial disaster.

I'd be happy to let Eyman defend himself, but he is more interested in cutting and pasting than discussion.

2cents

Posted Mon, Aug 3, 8:35 p.m. Inappropriate

previous post wrote: "The initiative has been heavily funded by conservative groups"

list them.

teyman

Posted Mon, Aug 3, 11:37 p.m. Inappropriate

Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
Colorado Club for Growth
National Taxpayers Union
Legislative Education Action Drive

This organizations have sponsored similiar initiatives in other states.

2cents

Posted Tue, Aug 4, 7:31 a.m. Inappropriate

None of those groups have donated to I-1033 - you were lying. It's not the first lie you've told about I-1033 but it certainly is apparent.

We received over 2146 individual donations to I-1033 -- none of those donations came from those groups.

I-1033 brings back the successful fiscal discipline of I-601, policies that Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of in 2005, resulting in a $9 billion deficit. I-1033 reinstates a reasonable limit on government's growth and if government thinks the automatic increase allowed by I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, then they can go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

raising taxes and imposing a state income tax, the fervent desire of I-1033's opponents, will only make things worse. I-1033's fiscal discipline will make sure that government doesn't face a $9 billion deficit ever again.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Thu, Aug 6, 11:03 p.m. Inappropriate

Some 86.5% of the money raised for I-1033 came from 3 individuals. $300,000 from Michael Dunmire of Woddinville, $250,000 from a loan secured by Tim Eyman and $25,000 from Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square.

I-1033 at best freeses government services in good times and in bad times like the recession we're in now, it will result in negative growth.

This is pretty easy to see - when the economy is good, each year's spending can only increase by an inflation factor and a population factor. Increasing for inflation only means you can pay for the previous year's services adjusted for their new cost based on inflation. There is no increase in services.

Likewise any increase for population means that you can provide services for the new population, but that doesn't increase services for existing residents. So you can argue it allows spending to increase but this is deceptive. No new spending is allowed above existing spending for services at their new cost and new population level. This is in essence a freeze on government providing services.

Likewise in recessionary times government undergoes negative growth. The next year's spending level ratchets down to the level based on the lowered revenue spent in the recession. It can not go back up to now fund any of the lost services if new revenue comes in because the only adjustment is for inflation and population.

Are things out of wack? The Tax Foundation data don't seem to say that. If we're ranked 8th in personal income oper capita but only ranked 35th in terms of state and local tax burden, it seems we're capable of

Posted Thu, Aug 6, 11:14 p.m. Inappropriate

continued -of providing government services to help our economy and our families and neighbors have a decent life in our state. We get multiple services every day funded by tax dollars that keep our society and economy alive. Services like education, transit, ferries, roads, parks, libraries, fire protection, police protection, courts, sidewalks, health care, emergency services, hospitals, clean water, clean air, environmental protection - the list goes on and on. I think we get a lot in return for the taxes we pay.

I-1033 is not needed and will create a multitude of problems for our state, our cities and our counties. It is overkill and creates a budgetary mess, removes flexibility of governemnt to act amd will stifle our recovery from our current recession. It would transfer taxes collected from everyone to provide a special tax break to wealthy property owners.

Vote No on I-1033 this November 3rd.

Posted Sat, Aug 8, 12:22 p.m. Inappropriate

Opponents don't deny that they think taxpayers are UNDERTAXED. Opponents don't deny that they want higher taxes and a state income tax. Colorado and California have income taxes - Washington doesn't. Opponents desperately want Washington to emulate other states that have income taxes.

I-1033 brings back the successful fiscal discipline of I-601, policies that Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of in 2005, resulting in a $9 billion deficit. I-1033 reinstates a reasonable limit on government's growth and if government thinks the automatic increase allowed by I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, then they can go to the voters and ask for an even bigger increase.

raising taxes and imposing a state income tax, the fervent desire of I-1033's opponents, will only make things worse. I-1033's fiscal discipline will make sure that government doesn't face a $9 billion deficit ever again.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Mon, Aug 10, 6:53 a.m. Inappropriate

Interesting article - provides an interesting perspective:

What Nobody Tells You About Washington's Permanent Tax Revolt

How Come the Sky Doesn’t Fall?

http://www.yourhealthcaretoday.com/home/1167-what_nobody_tells_you_about_washington_s_permanent_tax_revolt.htm

teyman

Posted Fri, Aug 14, 6:43 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 is Tim Eyman's clone of a spending limitation measure Colorado voters passed called TABOR or Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It was added to their state constitution and turned out to have disastrous effects on state and local government services.

The problem with limiting spending to the previous year's level and only adjusting for inflation and population is that government and business is more complicated than that.

Government services in Colorado like health care and education saw costs to just keep even rise faster than the consumer price index. They are different. Also the population increase adjustment does not deal with critical demographic changes within a state like the increase of seniors needing assistance as baby boomers enter retirement.

The result in Colorado was continuing decreases in existing services and no new investments. Colorado went from 35th to 49th in K-12 funding. Funding for colleges dropped 31%. Childrens health care was cut in half and childhood vaccinations dropped. Roads went unrepaired. Voters finally decided to suspend the measure to allow revenue buildup to bring critical services back.

I-1033 is a radical experiment that failed in Colorado. We don't need to repeat the same mistake here in Washington State. Here is a video done on the Colorado experience which has Republicans and business among others talking about the Colorado mistake:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbF3_CiOtoM

Posted Sun, Aug 16, 8:02 p.m. Inappropriate

Here's an excellent 'one page' description of I-1033 and its policies and principles:

http://kpbj.com/headlines/2009-08-04_i_1033_lets_citizens_control_how_fast_government_grows

teyman

Posted Tue, Aug 25, 3:08 p.m. Inappropriate

Here’s what we’re debating with 1033: how fast should the government grow and who should decide? 1033 takes the position that the public sector should grow at the same rate as the private sector -- unless voters OK a bigger increase -- and it should be the citizens, and not the politicians, who decide.

1033 brings back successful policies passed by the voters previously. In 1993, during tough economic times, voters approved Initiative 601, which put reasonable limits on government’s fiscal policies. 601 established a sustainable rate for government to grow, saying it could grow at the inflation rate plus population growth with faster growth requiring voter approval.

Despite a multi-million-dollar opposition campaign, the voters passed 601.

And 601 worked very well for many years until the Legislature started putting loopholes in it. It started with the Republicans in 1998, and accelerated with the Democrats in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2007. Those loopholes removed 601’s reasonable fiscal discipline and policies.

The result? Two major deficits — $3.2 billion in 2003 and $9 billion in 2009.

Those loopholes allowed them to take their budgets on a fiscal roller coaster, overextending themselves in good times — creating unsustainable budgets — which led to slashing during bad times. 1033 gets us off that fiscal roller coaster by reestablishing 601’s same reasonable allowance for growth while permitting higher increases with voter approval.

601 worked, it can work again with the passage of 1033.

So what happens to excess tax revenues that government collects above 1033’s limit? After a fixed percentage of tax revenue is transferred into the constitutionally-protected rainy day fund, the remainder of excess tax revenues gets refunded back to taxpayers via lower property taxes. Struggling working families and fixed-income senior citizens desperately need relief from our state’s crushing property tax burden. Washington shouldn’t be a state where only rich people can afford a home. 1033 provides needed, long-overdue property tax relief.

Opponents want higher taxes and a state income tax. Opponents are against ANY limit on government’s growth and against ANY restriction on government’s power to take as much as they want from the taxpayers.

1033 provides fiscal discipline with flexibility: any revenue from any source deposited into general funds is limited except voter-approved revenues, rainy day funds, and federal funds for the state and except voter-approved revenues for counties & cities.

Putting a reasonable limit on the growth of government, like 601 previously did, gives politicians the excuse to say ‘no’ to the special interest groups and encourages them to finally start prioritizing and reforming government.

Opponents have no alternative to 1033 to lower property taxes. Opponents have no alternative to 1033 to get government off the fiscal roller coaster. Opponents want us to trust the politicians, despite their insatiable appetite for higher taxes. Opponents ignore the 16 years of positive history with Initiative 601 in Washington state, preferring instead to talk about different tax limits in California, Colorado, and other states. Opponents are against 1033 because it allows the people, and not the politicians, to decide how fast the government should grow and how big a tax burden we can afford.

Both Forbes magazine and the Tax Foundation rank Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation. 1033 keeps us from hitting #1.

Property taxes keep going higher and higher and government keeps getting bigger and bigger. The people are losing control. 1033 allows the state, counties, and cities to grow, but at a rate that citizens can control and taxpayers can afford. 1033 gets government off the fiscal roller coaster, allowing it to grow at a sustainable rate that doesn’t outpace taxpayers’ ability to afford it.

1033 is needed now more than ever.

We’re very proud of our supporters and very hopeful that voters will support controlling the growth of government and lowering property taxes by approving 1033 in November. Thank you.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Thu, Sep 3, 3:28 p.m. Inappropriate

Tim's continuing his cutting and pasting and posting of false and misleading material. One example above is his use of Forbes and Tax Foundation information stating Washington State ranks 8th highest taxed state in country.

First off we're talking about state and local taxes, not Federal taxes. The Tax Foundation says that in terms of state and local tax burden per capita we rank 35th(with 1 being the highest) The Forbes article in question is wrong and Tim knows it but hey who cares about facts.

The Washington State Department of Revenue has looked at the misleading Forbes article and says “The only accurate way to compare tax burdens is by comparing both state and local taxes among states. By that measure, Washington ranks 19th-highest per capita and 35th-highest in taxes as a percentage of personal income, http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf. Economists generally prefer measuring as a percentage of personal income because it takes into account economic activity and demand for services. Rankings have become a popular staple among certain national publications, but they can be misleading. The most recent Forbes ranking is one of those. After being contacted by the Department, Forbes subsequently published a tax ranking based on the Tax Foundation’s analysis.”

You can read their full comments here:
http://dor.wa.gov/Content/GetAFormOrPublication/PublicationBySubject/TaxTopics/TaxRankings.aspx

Don’t expect Tim to change what he says however. This has been pointed out before to him and he not interested in correcting his misrepresentations.

He is not interested in an objective analysis of Washington’s tax system. He is only interested in cutting taxes and reducing government and if he has to lie to convince you to buy his initiatives he will do it. I say lie because repeating false statements over and over when they are shown to be false is lying to the public.

Would you buy a used car from this guy? Why would you believe what he says about his initiatives when he repeatedly lies and presents false information to the public about them? Just vote No on I-1033. Tell you family and friends and neighbors to do so also.

Steve Zemke
www.MajorityRules.org/blog

Posted Thu, Sep 3, 3:39 p.m. Inappropriate

I-1033 has nothing to do with how fast governmnet grows because it is a no growth initiative It freezes public spending at this year's level if voters pass I-1033. The only way to fund new needs, like helping more seniors as they turn 65, is by referendum votes. That sounds like a winner. Let put all city, county and state budgets up to a vote of the people. Then we can become like California - government by referendum.

The slight adjustment in spending each year allowed by I-1033 based on a national consumer price index doesn't account for regional differences and doesn't track public services costs like education and Medicaid that historically have grown faster than inflation of consumer goods. Government services, like education funding, as a result will provide less and less services.

The only state that has experimented with Eyman's frezzing of services is Colorado and education funding went from 35th in the nation to 49th. Colorado teachers have the lowest median pay in the US. Vote No on I-1033. We don't need to compete with Colorado to see who will pay their teachers the lowest.

Posted Mon, Sep 7, 10:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Another aspect of I-1033 that has been overlooked is the radical change that I-1033 proposes to implement on local governemnt and their budgets.

Initiative 1033 does not just affect the state but applies to all 39 counties and 281 cities in the state of Washington.

Eyman in I-1033 is playing a game called Eyman City only its not a game. He proposing to end our current form of representative government and limit the role of elected officials to only dealing with all revenue up to his artificial baseline of spending which is this year's recession level.

He is taking any revenue above this for himself and saying his only priority for spending new tax revenue above the baseline is to reduce property tax. No money will be spent on anything else until you play a game of referendum budget. That is - submit any requests to spend money on anything else like restoring services lost due to the recession to the voters.

Don't forget you have to pay for the election out of your existing money and defend your request from Eyman and others willing to spend money to oppose it.

If you're not ready to play this game with Eyman you had better vote no on I-1033 and tell your friends and family and neighbors and everyone else you know to also vote no.

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