Bills on Ballot

The International Examiner October 7, 2009 4

– Proposition 1: Renewal of Seattle Housing Levy

The City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 concerns a seven-year property-tax increase for low-income housing assistance. This proposition would fund affordable housing and other housing needs of low-income households. It authorizes collection of regular property taxes above limits otherwise allowed by state law.

– Referendum 71: Domestic Partnership Law

On May 18, 2009, Governor Christine Gregoire signed the Domestic Partnership Law, which provides the same state rights and responsibilities to domestic partners that are afforded to legally married couples. This November, voters can Approve the law or Reject it in Referendum-71.

– Initiative 1033: Freeze on State Budget

Tim Eyman’s Initiative-1033 proposes that state and local government should permanently freeze spending at this year’s level. It also states that the state and local governments should not reinvest in public services and restore those lost, but instead help property owners pay their property taxes. Critics say I-1033 will make it harder for people to dig out of the recession; will force deeper cuts and lock them in for years; and threaten education, health care, and other basic services and may have unintended consequences. In 1992, Colorado became the only state in the nation to impose a revenue limit like the one in I-1033. By 2005, Colorado voters – led by a bi-partisan coalition of business leaders, teachers, seniors, healthcare providers, and firefighters – voted to suspend the law for five years.

4 Comments »

  1. Anna M October 7, 2009 at 11:52 am -

    I will be voting YES on Prop 1 to renew the Housing Levy. We must protect all families, seniors, and people with disabilities who are struggling to get by.

  2. Steve Zemke MajorityRulesBlog October 7, 2009 at 12:47 pm -

    Before everyone thinks I-1033 is going to just help citizens pay property taxes, there are several catches in Eyman’s 1033.

    If you don’t own property, you’re not going to see any rebate on your taxes. You’ll still pay sales taxes and other fees. If you rent or are a senior citizen on fixed income or a working family and don’t own property you lose twice. No rebate and no new or restored public services.

    Also another thing Eyman won’t tell you is that your amount of rebate is not proportional to the sales taxes and other fees you pay but to the amount of property you own. Last year some 54% of state revenue was from sales taxes.

    And did you know that one third of the property tax rebates will go to commercial property, companies like Boeing and Weyerhaeuser, even though they already get a sales tax exemption for materials and goods they resell. The consumer is the one that pays sales taxes and you’ll still pay the same sales taxes after I-1033 passes.

    Vote No I-1033!

  3. Steve Zemke MajorityRulesBlog October 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm -

    According to the US Census Bureau some 35% of Washington State households are not owner occupied. I-1033 is really a reverse Robin Hood wealth transfer scheme; collecting sales taxes and other fees and then using them to pay property taxes for property owners.

    The biggest winners are rich property owners, like corporations, shopping mall owners, real estate developers and people who own multiple homes or large homes. The more property you own, the more of a rebate you’ll get.

    Meanwhile the tax burden shifts from the wealthy to those less well off. We rank highest in the US in terms of sales taxes, but only 25th per capita in terms of property taxes according to the Tax Foundation.

    A fairer tax reduction would be to just reduce sales taxes rather than help wealthy property owners. Or just reduce property taxes. But I-1033 is really a complicated wealth transfer scheme. It’s bad tax policy and regressive, hurting lower income people to just help those with property.

  4. Steve Zemke MajorityRulesBlog October 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm -

    Spread the word and tell people to vote NO on Eyman’s latest scheme to pick your pockets for the wealthy. Because I-1033 is really a wealth transfer scheme, taking tax dollars paid by renters and others without property and using it to help pay the property taxes of the wealthy.

    Here are some of the things your tax dollars go for now:

    educating our children
    providing health care for seniors and children
    mental health services
    repairing roads and bridges
    keeping parks and libraries open
    paying for police and fire protection
    paying for courts and jails
    cleaning up Puget Sound
    providing clean water and clean air
    sidewalks and bike paths
    affordable public transit
    emergency services
    services for seniors and disabled
    and the list goes on.

    But here is what your tax dollars above Eyman’s recession level limit will go for if I-1033 passes:

    paying property taxes
    That’s all.