News Sep 3, 2009 at 4:00 am

Initiative 1033 Sounds Good, but Its Consequences Would Be Disastrous

Comments

1
From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

left out of this story is the safety valve in I-1033 - if government thinks the automatic increase under I-1033 isn't a big enough increase, they can go the voters and ask for an even bigger increase. I-1033 allows government to grow, but at a sustainable rate that doesn't outpace the taxpayers ability to afford it.

How fast should the government grow and who should decide? I-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.

I-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. I-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 I-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 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 — which led to slashing during bad times. I-1033 gets us off that fiscal roller coaster by reestablishing I-601’s same reasonable allowance for growth while permitting higher increases with voter approval.

I-601 worked, 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. 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. I-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.

I-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 I-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 I-1033 to lower property taxes. Opponents have no alternative to I-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 I-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. I-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. 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.

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 Initiative 1033 in November. Thank you.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com
2
Initiative 1033 would be bad news for Washington State. Besides freezing the state budget and local governments budgets at their current level, I-1033 makes a mess of tax policy in general.

Because any "excess money" next year over this current years reduced spending can not go to restore any of this year's cuts, we will be locked into a permanent recession.

But I-1033 is also a complex wealth transfer scheme. Eyman says a special tax break for property owners is more important than educating our kids, fixing roads, keeping parks and libraries open and just about eveything else government does.

The devil is in the details. Some 40% of property taxes are commercial so 40% of Eyman's so called property tax break must go to corporations and businesses in our state.

In addition the US Census Bureau says that only 65% of households in this state are owner occupied. So guess what? Even though the other 35% of households, mainly renters, all will pay sales taxes and other taxes, they will not see any benefit from I-1033.

They lose twice. First they will get no rebate or taxes back under I-1033 and, second, they also will not get any public benefits that these tax dollars would have funded if not for this reallocation of tax dollars by Eyman.

I-1033 is another poorly written and not well thought out Eyman initiative. Voters would be wise to vote No on I-1033 and avoid this complicated wealth transfer schemme to wealthy property owners that conservatives like Eyman like to promote.
3
I-1033, despite Eyman's fantasies, is a no growth initiative. There are no more services provided if all you do is try to keep up with inflation which as Colorado shows does not happen with Eyman's inflation index in I-1033.

Eyman is good at cutting and pasting his campign rhetoric in blog comment threads but fast and lose on facts. Read I-1033 yourself before you vote. It will be a disaster for Washington State.

Colorado tried it and recently suspended it because It drastically reduced public services. For example, education spending went from 35th to 49th in the nation. Teacher pay in Colorado is the lowest in the nation.
4
The trouble with "Citizens deciding" is that they do not understand the tax law of the state.... so they accidentally create a different problem. That is why we ask the LEGISLATORS to do this... they must go to hearings and learn before they create a law from THE CITIZENS who come to the committees to testify how the proposed law may affect them. That way we don't make such huge mistakes. You wouldn't follow a self-help manual to do surgery on your self, so why buy this man's solutions instead of legislators? Could it be because you don't want to take the time to investigate and learn?
5
Eyman continues to use discredited facts over and over. Washington State is ranked 35th in terms of state and local tax burden by the Tax Foundation. The Forbes article Eyman quotes was based on faulty information as well as including Federal income taxes.

We rank 8th in terms of per capita income. We rank 25th in terms of property taxes per capita. We rank number 1 in terms of sales taxes. All this information is on the Tax Foundation's website.

Facts don't matter to Eyman. We are not an overtaxed state relative to the other 49 states. There is no free lunch. Eyman would have you believe there is.

Under I-1033 we can invest no more dollars next year than this year in restoring services cut by the current recession, except a small adjustment for inflation and population. I-1033 will keep the state in a permanent recession.

I-1033 would radically change Washington State for the worst. It is a sugar coated candy laced with a poison pill that anti tax and anti government folks like Eyman continually hope we will swallow. Just vote No on I-1033 and keep Eyman's hands out of your pockets.
6
"Both Forbes magazine and the Tax Foundation rank Washington as the 8th highest taxed state in the nation" Tim Eyman.

A typical Eyman misrepresentation. The Forbes quote includes Federal income tax. I-1033 doesn't affect Federal income taxes. We also have the 8th highest per capita income in the country according to the Tax Foundation.

The Tax Foundation says we rank 35th(with 1 being the highest) in terms of state and local tax burden. This has been repeatedly pointed out to Eyman but he doesn't care if he can misrepresent facts and figures and get you to buy into his fabrications.

Just Vote No on I-1033.
7
I-1033 is an Eyman clone of a measure passed by Colorado voters that they have since come to regret because it has drastically reduced public services in their state. They recently voted to suspend it.

Watch the YouTube video here to see why even Republicans and business in Colorado now oppose it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbF3_CiOt…
8
From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

The trump card for I-1033 is that OPPONENTS HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE. They don't have an alternative way to lower property taxes -- they're saying Washington's out-of-control property taxes are fine 'as is'. They don't have an alternative way to control the growth of government -- they oppose ANY limits on government's growth. They don't have an alternative way to deter tax increases -- opponents say 'trust the politicians', despite their insatiable appetite for higher taxes. Opponents actually say that taxpayers are UNDERTAXED -- opponents believe in higher taxes and desperately want a state income tax.

315,000 citizens signed on to I-1033 because it lowers property taxes, it controls the growth of government, and it stops politicians from unilaterally raising taxes and fees. And most importantly, I-1033 puts citizens in control -- under I-1033, it's the people, and not the politicians, who will decide how big the government should be and how big a tax burden we can afford. And really, that's the biggest reason opponents are freaking out about I-1033 -- special interest groups can bully politicians, but they know they can't push the people around.
9
You can go to the website of the No on 1033 campaign and get more information as well as signup to help defeat I-1033. Help pass the word on to others to vote No on I-1033.

Go to: http://www.no1033.com
10
No one's freaking out here except you Tim with your ranting. How, when we rank 35th (with 1 being the highest) in state and local tax burden, can you say we are overtaxed?

There is no free lunch Tim. By the way Tim did you pay all the costs of your college education yourself or did you benefit from tax dollars paid for by Washington State taxpayers to supprt WSU. I guess you got your benefits and it's too bad about future students in Washington.

I-1033 provides for no growth in public services in Washington State. There can be no additional money alocated to colleges beyond what we spent this year with a small adjusment for inflation and population. So much for educating the future workers of our state.

None of the this year's cuts in education spending and elsewhere will be allowed to be made up under I-1033 without a public vote. Elections cost money and are a poor way to allocate a state budget and manage city and county budgets.

Oh that's right it's more important for Kemper Freeman Jr who owns Bellevue Square to get a break on his property tax in return for his $25,000 contribution to your campaign. And Mikchael Dumire of Woodinville also wants his property taxes reduced in return for his $300,00 contribution.

Transfering sales taxes citizens pay to help pay property taxes for real estate developers and mall owners and corporations and businesses in Washington State is a much better use of our tax dollars than educating our children, right Tim.

Once people find out who I-1033 really benefits don't expect to win this one Tim. People in this state don't think taxing renters and working families and senior citizens to pay property taxes for wealthy property owners is right.
12
Just a little historical perspective -- we've heard it all before:

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

by Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research
and Brett Wilson, Research Assistant
February 2000

I. Introduction

A little more than one year ago, the people of Washington overwhelmingly approved Tim Eyman’s Initiative 695, the “$30 License Tab Initiative.” At a stroke the voters repealed the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) and replaced it with a flat $30 annual fee on private cars and trucks.

Shortly after passage, the measure came under court challenge. In order to insure that $30 license tabs went into effect as the voters wished, the legislature passed, and the governor signed, a bill to enact Initiative 695’s main tax-cutting provision. Other provisions, such as the requirement that future fee and tax increases must be voter-approved, were later struck down in court.

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. They said funding would be lost for up to 1,000 police officers, funding for basic county health services would end on January 1, 2000, child immunizations, flu shots, daycare and restaurant inspections would all be cut, there would be no new highway projects, cars would be taxed like homes, the budget reserve would be spent, 70,000 transportation jobs would disappear, school safety would be jeopardized, big companies like Boeing and Microsoft would move operations out of state, we would have a state income tax, and so on.

Taken together these claims appeared so overblown that they amounted to a concerted effort to frighten people into voting against Initiative 695. Once their attempt had failed, opponents may be forgiven for hoping that their gloom-and-doom forecasts would be quickly forgotten.

A year later, however, we are in a position to coolly assess the actual outcome of Initiative 695. We see that the sky did not fall.

...

Read the complete analysis here:

http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/Centers/…
13
Didn’t the Governor give newspapers a significant tax break this year? I don’t see The Stranger turning that back to the Washington State general budget…

That aside, what mechanism, should the people use to reign in a fiscally irresponsible legislator and governor?

Why was it that in 2008 there was no budget problem until after the November election? The press never really did a search for the truth on the important difference between the candidates. By December 2008 however, we were 9 billion in the red! The in early 2009, the newspapers got a tax break….

I support putting a leash on the State Government and vote for I-1033. Obama was right, it is indeed time for a change in Washington State; but in 2010.

Vote those tax and spend bastards out of office…
14
Tim,

Don't go away mad ...

Oh, what the hell: go away mad if you want; just, please, please ... PLEASE go away!
15
From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

there must be a balance between what government says they need and what taxpayers can afford.

I-1033 strikes a very reasonable balance. For every crazy who reads and posts here, there are thousands of regular folks who believe I-1033 isn’t bold enough and property taxes should be lowered even more. Citizens are really struggling under Washington state’s crushing property tax burden and politicians at the state, county, and city level have done absolutely nothing to address that very real problem.

A post in mid-July by IRONHORSE at the Kitsap Sun is worth a reprint and deserves a response from opponents of I-1033:

We all know you don’t want it to pass and you 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?

16
The doom and gloom is Mr Eyman trying to keep his business going. No one likes to pay taxes but give me a break. I-1033 TAKES TAXES FROM THE POOR AND GIVES THEM TO THE RICH. It's a reverse Robin Hood scheme. Why should I pay sales tax so that that Boeing and Weyerhauser and Bellevue Square pay lower property taxes.

Low income working families and senior citizens all lose out because they pay sales taxes and other taxes, but the lion's share of the property tax break under I-1033 obviously goes to large property owners and businesses. It a shell game and most of the public loses out.

Eyman is blindly fighting against any and all taxes despite the good they can do. It's easy to cry and whine but really Tim the rhetoric belies the reality.

The Tax Foundation has said we rank 35th in terms of state and local tax burden. Yet we rank 8th in terms of income per capita. Seems to me you're the one screaming bloody murder.

Using the free market Washington Policy Center as your source of unbiased analysis is a joke - they also oppose taxes and government spending.

It's a difference of philosophy for sure. I see governemnt as something that benefits and helps people whereas you see it as an enemy.
I see taxes as the price we pay for living in a society and you think there is a free lunch.

Your rant about government out of control is really the result of too much support for the free market approach by Bush and others in handling the economy, i mean ignoring the economy and oversight of financial institutions. They caused the roller coaster fall in the economy and the loss of revenue for the government to operate, it was not out of control spending by city and state government, it was the recession that caused the fall for government spending, the same as for businesses and families..

I-1033 is a no growth measure, it will freeze public services. Tell it like it is Tim, quit the bs about it being a responsible way to control government. It's a radical attempt to limit government and eliminate representative democracy and install budget approval by referendum.

17
"Taken together these claims appeared so overblown that they amounted to a concerted effort to frighten people into voting.."

One could say that about your efforts Tim shouting about how property taxes are out of control when the Tax Foundation says that in terms of property taxes paid per capita in this state we rank 25th (with one being the highest).

If it's seniors you're worried about the best solution is to raise the senior property tax exemption and help those most in need. Or if you're concerned about people being taxed out of their homes then you should be supporting a Homestead Exemption like some 38 other states have.

It's easy to treat both commercial and residential real estate the same by just providing the same exemption for business and homeowners. HB 3162 did just that in the 2007-2008 Legislative session. It had 24 sponsors. HB 3162 was labeled "Providing a property tax exemption for the first $50,000 of assessed value of commercial and residential real property."

I-1033 IS INSTEAD A WEALTH TRANSFER SCHEME TRANSFERRING SALES TAXES AND OTHER REVENUE TO HELP LARGE PROPERTY OWNERS PAY LESS TAXES.

Strange how helping large corporations pay their property taxes is more important than helping kids go to college or paying teachers a decent wage or keeping our libraries and parks open for the public or hiring more police or helping seniors stay in their homes because this is the choice in a nutshell.

I-1033 rather than just trying to reduce property taxes directly for those that need help instead provides a special tax break that mainly benefits large property owners. It transfers tax dollars collected from everyone to support public services like health care and Medicaid and parks and transit and sidewalks to do this. It's a crazy scheme that is ridiculous in it's implementation and absurdly complex. Just vote no.
18
every alternative offered up is illegal and unconstitutional. only I-1033 reduces property taxes in a way consistent with the uniformity clause of the Constitution. ideas aren't real alternatives if they're illegal, unconstitutional, and that's why those ideas have been repeatedly ignored and never implemented by majority Democrats in Olympia.
19
Tim, saying that our property taxes are out of control doesn't make it true. As Steve Zemke pointed out, WA ranks 25th which puts us smack-dab in the middle. Just because you personally hate paying property taxes apparently more than anything else in the world doesn't make our property taxes out of control.

It's a bit of a straw man to cry "WHERE IS YOUR ALTERNATIVE?!!??" when it's not clear that an alternative is necessary.

How about you start being genuine about your intentions? You and your government-hating cronies have a tried and true system of loudly complaining that the government cannot be relied upon, all the while behind the scenes you are underfunding services and making them unreliable ON PURPOSE because you want an excuse to cut them.
20
Tim, you're hardly the expert on constitutionality. I-1033's goal is to freeze government spending, that's the poison pill you're hiding. Giving voters the illusion that
they're going to see some reduction in property taxes is the sugar coating covering this goal that you hope will induce voter's to unknowingly swallow the poison pill.

You're fear mongering of out of control government spending and runaway taxes is overhyped. Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society. You support a limited role of government in society and a free market economy where it's everyone for themselves.

I support a role for government that helps and assists. I much prefer our representative style of government that deliberates and involves public input into writing our laws and budgets and sets priorities.

I-1033 is a bad idea. It is a radical approach that is complex. It imposes a permanent freeze on public spending for services that everyone uses, regardless of need. It imposes a cumbersome costly process of voter referendums to raise revenue for any reason at the city, county and state level.

It is a reverse Robin Hood wealth transfer scheme that takes tax dollars from the poor and gives them to the wealthy to reduce their property taxes. Renters, senior citizens and working families will still pay sales taxes and other taxes but if they own no property they will see no benefit from I-1033.

It is an unnecessary shell game transferring money from the less fortunate to wealthy property owners, businesses and corporations to pay their property taxes.

I am not crying wolf as to its impacts. We already have seen the results and impacts of this approach in Colorado. Go to www.teachersalaryinfo.org and see how this approach of freezing public spending and services has decimated Colorado's educational system.

The average teacher salary in Colorado is the lowest in the country. The average teacher salary in Colorado compared to the median household income is 49th lowest out of 50 states.

Again I-1033 is a radical experiment we don't need to try in Washington State. It was tried in Colorado and failed.

I-1033 will lock us into a permanent recession, prohibiting state and local governments from restoring services lost as a result of the recession.

I-1033 also prohibits any new investments in public infrastructure and services and ignores changing demographics like more seniors needing help as the population ages.

Just Vote No on Initiative 1033 and keep Eyman out of our pockets. Dealing with budgets by referendum has failed in California and isn't needed here.
21
Tim Eyman is exhibit A of why initiatives shouldn't be part of the political system. It's too easy for scumbags like Eyman to dupe people into voting the wrong way on things they don't understand. Let the elected officials whose job it is to know what they are doing make the laws, and if you don't like what they're doing, vote them out. And if your neighbors refuse to vote them out, maybe you should consider the possibility that you are outside the mainstream and no one cares what you think.
22
@14

Yes, I've been thinking for years that someone should write an initiative to banish Tim Eyman from Washington State. Send him to exile in Texas.
24
Is there anyone not already on board with I-1033 that is swayed by Tim's quotation and linking to a report not only written by an anti-government-funding "think"-tank but written back in February 2000 while I-695 wasn't to take effect until January 2000, was still being litigated and hadn't really had opportunity to have any noticeable effect?

Oddly enough, here we are a decade after I-695's passage, having lost our budget surpluses, had programs cut, watched our infrastructure further decay, ended up in a recession, and to top it off, while he did manage to absolutely bugger the state budget, and saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars (of money his contributor's sent) in his own car tab fees, Tim has never managed to get the state to present me with a $30 car tab.

It's a shame that we seem to live in a post-fact society and the consequences, intended, projected and historical, of Tim's Initiatives are not presented honestly.

25
the Washington Policy Center study on the 'fallout' of the repeal of the state car tab tax in Nov, 1999 was written and released in February 2001, well over a year following the passage and implementation of the repeal of the state car tab tax (voters approved it, courts rejected it, Gary Locke and the Legislature re-repealed it).

The date on the report is incorrect (note the first sentence: A little more than one year ago, the people of Washington overwhelmingly approved ...)
26
I remember the I-695 debate. I remember hearing about all the non road repair fat piglets nursing of the tabs tax; unaccountable to the public, getting cut off at the teat.

The tabs money was effectively a slush fund.

I remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth as well as hearing about the rise of the Ant-Christ if I-695 passed.

Well it did. The world did not end. The Anti-Christ did not come (not until his scheduled appearance in December 2012 anyway…:))

What I do recall is the cost of my tabs was reduced and my front plate no longer required a tab. This saved the DMV 50% off their cost of doing the tab business,

The DMV could have already eliminated the front tab long before I-695, but why should they? It’s not as if they did not needed to worry about the bottom line…

Bolt from the blue, I-695 forced government to be more efficient. In the real world, if a business is not competitive, its competition will get the business. Government has no competition and therefore has no incentive to be efficient whatsoever.

I-695 made Washington tighten it’s belt for a change, and saved the tax payers some money while forcing government to eliminate waste which they obviously were not doing.
This makes for lower cost for citizens on more than just their tabs.

Eyman was right about I-695 in this regard. No one I’ve seen on this blog has the courage to acknowledge this. They can call Tim names; write articles and childishly use expletives for shock, but in the end Eyman speaks to the great unwashed who pay the bills in this state. Government needs to tighten its belt, too.

Again I ask what mechanism to reign in bloated government spending?

Did anyone address the point I made earlier that newspapers across the state including the Stranger (and the Holden’s employer) got a nice tax break this year?
27
TylTay, your idea that the little stickers are the only cost the DoL (which is what it is called in Washington State, as I am sure you, as a registered and legal voter here) incurs administrating vehicle licensing, is as ridiculous as your use of the epithet "tax-and-spend" (which is what the government's job is, what with securing funds and providing for the common good, you know, like in the constitution).
28
"THE PROBLEM IS ZEMKE bitching about it while doing nothing."

Maybe you're the one bitching. If you check the record you would see that I have spent many years helping organize and running initiative campaigns long before Tim Eyman was around. And we collected signatures using volunteers rather than paying out of state signature gatherers to get them on the ballot.

A partial list of some the campaigns I helped organize and get on the ballot include:

Initiative 61 for returnable beverage containers, Initiative 394 for a public vote before we are indebted for large public energy projects, Initiative 97 to cleanup toxic waste, and Initiative 99 for a Washington State Presidential Primary.

I have been involved with many other campaigns over the year's both pro and con including one's to successfully help defeat some of Tim Eyman's ill advised and poorly thought out measures.

I am currently the Co-Chair of the King County Democrats Legislative Action Committee and we have voted to oppose I-1033. We am trying to let people know the dangers of I-1033 and help them understand what it does before they vote on it.

Complex legislation like I-1033 is best left to the legislative process where there can be open debate and discussion of the impacts of such legislation before votes are taken. Absent that public discussion by the Legislature, commenting on comment threads is one way to debate the issues involved.

I am speaking my piece as a concerned citizen and voters will judge accordingly as to the merits of my arguments and others versus those of Eyman's.

If an idea is stupid then it's not bitching to say so. I'm doing my civic responsibility by participating in the political process.

I write at wwww.MajorityRules.org/blog and have done a number of posts on why Eyman's I-1033 would be bad for our state. You will also see my comments on numerous comment threads because I believe Eyman is sugar coating a poison pill. I-1033 is a dangerous measure that people need to read and understand and not just vote on based on what Eyman says because a lot of what he writes is false and misleading.

29
The alternative to I-1033 is to do nothing.

Treat Eyman like the politician he longs to be and reject I-1033. It will not cut the average homeowners taxes. It will brutally destroy small counties and cites budgets. Meanwhile King County, Seattle and Washington state will suffer, but they have the resources and voters to pass taxes.

Eyman and Dunmire have a closet full of initiatives. It's their business. Reject I-1033 and demand a less idiotic initiative from ED.
30
Property taxes help pay for those lovely services and amenities people get piped into their homes. They pay for the cops and the fire department. Clean roads. Sidewalks (usually).

The ability to maintain or upgrade these amenities diminishes with a capped tax scheme, and then you end up screwing yourself out of basic services.

Mukilteo and all of Washington deserve a little more common sense than that, Tim.
31
Yes, please please please ... I'm certain that if we put our heads together, we can come up with an initiative and get it filed and passed to: A) Never ever allow another bug-eyed, woo-hoo, dingleberry initiative in this state, and B) Get Tim a nice Winnebago, fill it up with gas, but some Pringles in the globe box, put him inside, lock the doors, and tow him to the border. Any border. Never to return. Ever.
32
Agreed: An initiative to ban the initiative process would be most excellent and would solve a lot of problems. America was founded as a REPRESENTATIVE democracy for this very reason - DIRECT democracy renders government non-functional and puts it at the mercy of demagogues such as Tim Eyman and the rest of the wingnuts.
33
from: tim eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor, tim_eyman@comcast.net

everyone pays property taxes. renters pay their landlord's property taxes, everyone pays the property taxes of businesses they frequent, and yes, homeowners pay property taxes. everyone will benefit from reducing the property tax burden in Washington state. Property taxes have been getting more and more out-of-control and no one in government will do anything about it. I-1033 substantially lowers property taxes, not by slashing government revenues, but simply by controlling the GROWTH. this has the added benefit of preventing politicians from unilaterally raising taxes and fees (only voter-approved taxes and fees are exempt from I-1033's limit) and it encourages politicians to use existing revenue more effectively because they can no longer view taxpayers as an automatic ATM machine.

to read a 'one-page' on I-1033, go to our website:

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com
34
Hey Tim EYESORE---
I'VE got an idea:

let's fuck up YOU!!!!!
35
@31: to Ron_in_PDX--I SECOND IT!!!!
36
@31 and @35:
I third the notion, except let's first find a steep cliff and push Eyman over the side. Then let's celebrate with a weenie roast when the RV's fuel tank ruptures and bursts in flames with him in it.

Moral of the story? Never let a shady acre frat-boy watch salesman rise to power!
37
Tim Eyman get an initiative on the ballot. The Stranger opposes it and predicts dire consequences and even the end of the world if it passes. Then voters pass the measure. Seems like a pattern to me.
38
Everyone pays property taxes in some shape or form, but very few will get a tax break from I-1033. The majority will go to big business and the wealthy. Meanwhile the average taxpayer will have to provide transportation for children two miles to school everyday and fork out good money for school supplies. The average citizen will have to wait longer for fire and police protection.

The average taxpayer may indeed need some tax relief, but I-1033 is definately not it.
39
Shut up, montex!
And take Tim Eyesore with you!
40
Ohhhh, please, please, please, PRETTY PLEEEEEEAASE---can we really get Tim Eyman mad enough to storm off and leave Washington State for good?

I'm putting that on this year's Christmas list.
41
From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

Across the board property tax relief is the only way taxes can be reduced under our state's Constitution. It's called the uniformity clause -- it says that the only way property taxes can be INCREASED is if they are increased 'uniformly' on everyone -- and it says that the only way that property taxes can be REDUCED is if they are reduced 'uniformly' for everyone.

That's what I-1033 does -- I-1033 uniformly reduces property taxes for everyone. the more you pay, the more you save, but no matter what, the percentage reduction in property taxes will be the same for everyone under I-1033.

Opponents want HIGHER TAXES and a state income tax. They don't think struggling taxpayers are paying enough. They oppose limiting the tax burden and they're totally against lowering property taxes. They lie and say things like "the average taxpayer may indeed need some tax relief, but I-1033 is definitely not it" to try to sound like they support relief, just not I-1033's relief - but that's not true. They're against any limit on government's growth, they're opposed to any restriction on government's power to unilaterally take as they much as they want from taxpayers.

Opponents have no alternative way to protect taxpayers - they say "trust the politicians" despite their insatiable appetite for higher taxes and a state income tax.

I-1033 provides property tax relief for everyone, consistent with the uniformity clause of our state Constitution. Opponents offer nothing but a continued blank check to politicians.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com
42
I think I'll break up the Tim Eyman, Steve Zemke Show -
Can we please bring back the initiative to Declare Tim Eyman a Horse's Ass? It seemed so unfairly challenged in it's first inception...
43
IRONHORSE from the Kitsap SUN, really Tim? Really stoooopid, Tim.

I know IRONHORSE, IRONHORSE is a retired shipyard guy from Port Orchard and right wing idiot with essentially no credibility on this issue.

It's pretty obvious you're grasping since you can't find anyone with credibility support this PoS. Even the usual suspects, including the real estate guys and AWB, don't support this.
44
I've talked to this guy (Eyman) before about one of his earlier initiatives (to save RV owners money) back when I was an editor of a trade magazine. He's engaging, friendly and willing to answer any questions I may have; he doesn't care who you are, if you're a big name or small potatoes. That said, while it's easy to see how he can still be in the business of trying to cater to the poor, downtrodden, middle- to upper-class taxpayer, his initiatives -- to me -- are most definitely indeed shortsighted attempts at grandeur. I mean, I've lived here for over 10 years, and for most of them, he's been around pushing initiative after another in the press. Enough already.
45
In this blue state, we vote FOR taxes; Not really a news flash, Tim. It's the democratic process and your anti-tax initiatives come off as nothing but pouty elementary-school-level sour grapes. Likewise, Steve: stop whining "no, YOU are' and you might gain traction on moderates.

I'd rather see an initiative that directs how we SPEND the tax money gathered - it seems clear that THAT is the more glaring issue of gover-mint reps not doing our specific bidding. It's also the area where we have LESS agreement in our democratic process, and the representitive gov could use more direction. First step: reduce admin staff and corporate manager structure of gov offices. [ Take ESD/UI for example: there are 8+ VicePresidents of the ESD and a tree of managers below each one. W.T.F. Commish Karen: reduce your supervisor staff and increase the makers/creators/do-ers!!!]
46
From: Tim Eyman, I-1033 co-sponsor

315,000 citizens believe that I-1033 is the better way to go rather than watching politicians take government budgets on a fiscal roller coaster.

315,000.

we believe that they are the tip of the iceberg of voter support because:

1) it's a good thing to bring back the proven successful fiscal discipline from I-601 which worked for many years but was recently repealed by Gregoire and the Democrats

2) that it's a good thing to allow government to grow, but at a sustainable rate that citizens control

3) that it's a good thing to include a safety valve allowing bigger increases if local citizens agree that government needs more

4) that opponents want higher taxes and a state income tax and believe the problem with government is that it's not taking enough from taxpayers -- that taxpayers are UNDERTAXED -- that property taxes aren't out-of-control -- that property taxes are fine 'as is.'

there must be a balance between what government says they need and what taxpayers can afford. politicians will always take more of the people's money if left to their own predispositions. there must be a reasonable limit on how they take ... or else they'll take it all.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com
47
Tim Eyman is a perfect example of why the initiative process in this state is grossly flawed. It allows him to make a living sponging off of sponsors and fundraising for any old initiative he can dream up, year after year after year. No matter how much it fucks up our state budgeting process, or discriminates against its citizens.

It should be illegal to use paid signature gatherers. Using only volunteers would still allow truly grassroots and important initiatives onto the ballot, but would prevent idiots like Tim Eyman from trying to sponge off the system and govern from the sidelines for a decade.

Anyone with a lick of common sense will vote against anything that Tim Eyman is involved in.
48
I say Tim Eyman can take is idiotic and destructive initiatives (which I have always voted against) back to CA we don't need a freeloader like him here. After all he makes his living off of doing initiatives, he dose not really care what effect they have because he will just pack up and move to another state one he has gotten his fill of destroying this one and do the same thing there! So I say just take the hint and leave Timmy we don't want you here any more.
49
Anti-tax whiners are almost always whiners who have more than they really deserve anyway. In the case of a carpetbagger like I-man, campaigning for lower taxes is a good way to get paid, and then...shazaam! pay less taxes. I understand that he is trying to claw his way up into the upper-middle class by being a toady for rich people whom he aspires to golf with, but he is either 1)passionately arguing about issues he clearly does not understand or 2) making passionate and completely disingenuous arguments (i.e., forcefully lying) So what are you, I-dude, stupid or evil...and hey, I will not discount both...
50
Initiative 1033 will result in a radical shift from our present model of representative government to one of budget making by referendum.

Under I-1033 all our 281 cities and 39 counties as well as the state can do if it passes is make decisions on the current recession level of spending at this year level. Eyman sets this as the baseline and says anything above this must go to reduce property taxes of property owners.

Elected representatives won't be able to allocate any of the revenue generated above this baseline as the economy improves to restore lost services or pay for new needs or services. Eyman says the only use of these tax dollars must be to help wealthy property owners pay their property taxes.

There will be no new investment in jobs or education or public infrastructure or road repair or anything else above this baseline level.

The only way to allocate any of this revenue to something besides paying property taxes is by public referendum. This costs money to hold elections. Plus the local and state governments can not spend any money to advocate for paying for new services. It will be up to individuals to take money out of their pockets to run campaigns.

There is no glaring need for such a radical shifting of state and local governance. Eyman is hoping people don't read the details and understand how I-1033 is basically a freeze in all public services and also a huge transfer of wealth from the public to support private property owners.

This is not about helping working familes or seniors keep their principal residence. It is about a huge transfer of state and local tax dollars to benefit businesses and corporations and large property owners.

Just Vote No on I-1033.
51
Did Tim Eyman rape and kill a young girl in 1990?
52
Public records are an amazing thing. While searching for something else entirely on Washington Secretary of State's Corporations Registration web page, I found the home address of Tim Eyman in Mukilteo.

Curiosity got the better of me.

Using Google Maps, I typed in the address and learned that Mr. Eyman lives on a golf course overlooking the Puget Sound. Using Zillow.com, I learned that his 3,020 square foot, three bedroom, three bath house is estimated to be worth $720,000. This price tag makes Eyman's home worth more than 95% of all Washington homes.

So the question I have is this: Who stands to benefit the most if the initiative passes? You or the remaining 95% of Washington households?

Mr. Eyman, you've got a Palin wardrobe problem here; the "I'm helping the Average Joe 'cause I'm one too" persona doesn't match up with the country club reality.
53
you can easily spot people who don't understand this issue because they turn to personal attacks.

steve zemke, i appreciate your comments and i think you've pointed out key problems with tim eyman's campaigns. that is, his failure to express the sound logical foundations of his proposal.
54
Let me just say that I think it's hilarious that Tim Eyman is not only commented on a story in The Stranger, but that he is engaging in debate in the comments sections.

No Tim, please *don't* go away. Keep debating on the blogs! Hopefully you'll be writing less initiatives. Perhaps you can find conservatives to fund you in that endeavor.

As for those who don't like taxes: why don't you vote for someone who will lower taxes, or run yourself? Let's hear your list of programs you'd like have cut. Which nursing homes should we close? Which children should lose health care? Who is going to pay the EMTs and the morgues to clean up the mess when the Viaduct topples over? How about the increased unemployment when our youth can't get a college education?

Lower taxes always sounds great when you're not actually responsible for maintaining the state's functions. Hey I'd like lower taxes too, but I'm not willing to live in an urban wasteland in order to get them.
55
Tim, you have my support.

From this article: "If passed by voters, the measure would lock Washington into its current budget—the worst budget the state has had in decades, owing to the recession—and prevent the budget from expanding when the economy improves. "

DUH! This is why we are having our current budget shortfall in the first place. Stranger, thank you for confirming I made the right choice to support 1033.
56
Stranger Staff -
PLEASE PLEASE give the campaign against this referendum more attention. This will have a bigger impact than any other referendum up for vote this year. Any. And that includes Ref71 (all for it).

Colorado is a good example of the consequences. But California is too.
Now even the CA state supreme court is speaking out against such types of referendums...even the Republicans.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/us/11c…
57
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 will go for if I-1033 passes:

paying property taxes
That's all.
58
www.dw.courts.wa.gov -> name search -> enter Tim Eymans name. There are 42 cases that appear for him. It's no wonder he wants to reduce government, they're still trying to collect from. The only perk to his initiative is the possible reduction in judges that could delay any further court hearings, thus reducing his abilty to drain the courts of their time.
I think we need aninitiative to remove the people that abuse the systems they say they are trying to protect. Tim Eyman should be promoted to astronaut so we can leave him on the space station. It would certainly symbolize the distance he has from the reality of the needs of the voters. Tim Eyman has had his 15 minutes of fame. Now he needs to move on. Put a rifle in his hand and send him to Afgahnistan.
59
My Property Taxes have doubled in the last 10 years what else has doubled in 10 years? Has salaries doubled, cost of an automobiles doubled? No! Washgington Government is OUT OF CONTROL!

I am voting YES for I-1033 because we the people are more intelligent than our politicians to do the right thing for Washington.
60
I'm with #59, above. The reality is that we all have to live within our means and that applies to government too. There is an abundance of fat in the ranks of government - efficiency and competitivness is simply not in their agenda. Especially with the State (WA) being essentially a playground for free-spending Democrats, Socialists and other like-minded redistributionists. If these folks want to allow government to have more money for their pet projects and constituencies then let them pay-up. The likes of bill Gates sheeling out $100k, or the unions at several hundred 'k' apiece tells you all you need to know. They just want to keep their snouts in your pockets as deep as they can. For Gates, or his Dad, if they are som concerned about this let them spend some of their billions, or run for office, or better yet, support a 10% income tax for those earning over $250k household income. There's lots of ways to solve the fiscal crisis that the Democrats who are in charge of everything here have created, but spending as usual is coming to and end, I hope.
61
"Frankly I think the Doom and gloom sayers that surface every time some one wants to limit taxes are idiots. NO PEOPLE the world will not come to an end if taxes are not raised."

Well you just make the dumbest posts on every 1033 article, don'tcha?
62
You heard it here folks, education and health care are PET PROJECTS of BIG SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT. We need to roll them back, clearly the wise and efficient hand of the free market will be there to pick up the slack.
63
Since when is going to voters and asking for more money to fund something and proving why it needs funding BEFORE they spend OUR money a bad thing? It can't be and they can't be trusted to do it on their own anymore. They made this budget now they have to prove they can manage it. Class rooms shouldn't have to go anywhere, if the do, it will just prove Christine cannot and should not govern. Let's say we cut her 450k budget for communications in half, stop paying dead or ineligible pensioners 615k and 66k for CHRISTMAS TREE INSPECTIONS and the list goes on and on and on and on...sorry, oh! and a couple of more faves...we fund housing "lofts" for those who chose to be artists, wtf! and that 1/2% of 1% of construction projects going to art? How about to kids with Leukemia or no home or education? Puuleeeze, I really don't need to view salmon in the cement while I am driving thank you!
Make our Government responsible. Don't cave to the scare tactics of ruining our children's educations. Not a big Tim fan, but I will be voting for this Initiative because I am just so sick of all the crap spending!
64
I am 78 years old and have lived here since 1979 paying $60.K for my home hoping to die in it some day. Since purchase 30 years agoI have paid $58,543,16 in property taxes watching it rise from $221.20 per year in 1979 to $3,626.08 in 2009. The cost to live in my free and clear home is $302.09 per month tax which is more than my original loan payments. For older people retired this is difficult to maintain especially in today's economic time. I see the WA Legislature spend into the future with money they don't have, however, this is the norm for government both national and local. I would love to see some controls passed in both D.C and this state. I would like very much to be able to die in my house. Just remember some day you will be old never thinking the property tax burden would be so much. So with this in mind I have to say----go Tim Eyman! I love you.
65
I've been told the King County Library System is about to spend $10,000,000 for 80 new parking spaces at the Bellevue branch.

That is $125,000 per parking space.

Is this a wise use of taxpayer money?

Decisions like these are the kind of insanity that lead to the passage of initiatives like 1033.

Until "government" starts to restrain itself, angry voters will come out in force.
66
As several people here have commented, Washington State's government spending is completely unrestrained. I-1033 isn't some "poison pill" as crackpots like Steve Zemke would have you believe. Even if the initiative is passed, it'll only stop property tax increases for a while, until it is declared unconstitutional by some partisan judge.

The fact that past initiatives like I-695 were declared unconstitutional shows how partisan our government has become. The problem is that the government, predominantly liberal, are HURTING the middle class with the combination of taxes imposed against the high cost of living!

The rich can AFFORD such high taxes! They WANT to maximize government spending because they have money to influence the way it's spent! Bill Gates himself donated $100,000 to NO on I-1033 (http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Wa…)

You think he did that out of the goodness of his heart? No, he did it out of his own self interest!

Are you middle-class opponents of I-1033 so blind to see that I-1033 can only HELP you by making government more accountable? We are in a recession and we need to use the money we have wisely, not waste it on exorbitant government salaries and superfluous projects. Did you know the UW university president makes over $700,000 per year? For the love of God, make the pain stop!
67
Every other commercial on tv is a vote no on 1033...wouldn't all that money be better spent on the kids they so much want to help. You pay for your home for 30 years and by the time it is it is finally yours your taxes are so high you are basically renting it from the state...bs
Wasn't the lotto supposed to help cover the schools?...
Every friggin election ask for more money to help the kids. If you can't afford the kids don't have them...I don't have any, but yet I pay out the yazoo for them. I have 20 years left to pay on my house and am already worried about if I will be able to pay the taxes after that. Good job Tim and keep it up! I am voting YES.
68
I am paying $500 more a year in property taxes...about a 10% increase - give or take. Yet my income has stayed flat. So how about my economy? I just have my two properties as my retirement nest egg. I don't have a pension or even health care. Am I suppose to live in a permanent recession so the state employees can live fat with all their benefits?
69
Kudos to you Tim Eyman. Keep up the good work and keep trying. The voters need to get more involved and it should be the voters who decide on new taxes. The state spends (and wastes) tons of money while the economy is good, and wants to continue to do the same thing while the economy is bad. The state government has a BIG spending governor who helped get the state into this big mess and we have a bad economy and guess what, now that 1033 has failed to pass, they are crying for more money. Bullshit. I wonder how many tax dollars were spent on all the anti 1033 propaganda that was sent out in the mail.
70
All you Sea-Tac lefty loons need to move to Russia. You'll see all your dreams in action! Idiots.
71
At least he is doing something. The WA politicians are out of control. They're spending money we do not have and hitting us tax payers like some kind of money tree whenever they want to spend more. Enough is enough.
Kick out every legislator that voted for the tax increase and suspended the taxing initiative which had been passed by the voters.
Then in the next session repeal the tax increases...
72
The I-Man is the largest charltan ever produced; he is the master of the sleight-of-hand. He has also abused the initiative process.

Send the I-Man a message: Vote NO on ANYTHING he proposes!
73
The I-Man is the largest charltan ever produced; he is the master of the sleight-of-hand. He has also abused the initiative process.

Send the I-Man a message: Vote NO on ANYTHING he proposes!
74
I say vote yes on anything I Man proposes. We've got to get these government leaches back into proportion. It doesn't take over 55% of the people of Washington to run the day to day of our state and government business.
I'm tired of paying these entitlement people(government employees)and not have a say how my money is spent. Go Tim!!
75
Vote Yes.

We want a say how those idiots spend our money.
76
I say don't take voting advice from some baseless, anonymous, anti-representative democracy, anarchocapitalist nobody like BatteryBill.

Please wait...

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