Bring comments about tax measure to council hearing Monday

October 4, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 4, 2009

City Council members want to hear from residents as officials consider whether to oppose a statewide property tax measure on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The measure, Initiative 1033, would limit the growth of city, county and state revenue to inflation and population growth, not including voter-approved revenue. Any revenue above the I-1033-mandated cap would be used to lower property taxes.

Issaquah council members will hold a public hearing Monday. The hearing will be part of the 7:30 p.m. regular council meeting, in the council chambers at 135 E. Sunset Way.

Residents and council members will have the opportunity to express support or opposition for the measure.

Conservative political activist Tim Eyman spearheaded I-1033. Eyman is known for launching several other ballot initiatives, including I-776. In 2002, voters approved the measure to set vehicle license tab fees at $30.

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2 Responses to “Bring comments about tax measure to council hearing Monday”

  1. Steve Zemke MajorityRulesBlog on October 4th, 2009 3:20 pm

    Initiative 1033 is a lot more complicated than just freezing the budget at its current level, which has lots of problems.

    What most voters haven’t focused on yet is that I-1033 is actually a wealth redistribution scheme. It doesn’t decrease sales taxes which everyone pays and which are regressive, meaning lower income folks pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the more wealthy.

    Instead it would take sales tax dollars paid by everyone and use them when the economy improves and money is over the current budget to pay property taxes for property owners. The problem is that not everyone owns property. Renters including seniors on fixed income and working families will still pay the same taxes as before but will lose twice. They will get no tax rebate and also see no restored or increased public services.

    I-1033 is a reverse Robin Hood scheme taking tax dollars from those less well off and using them to pay property taxes for the wealthy and for corporations.

    Some 35% of households in the state are currently renters according to the US Census Bureau. They are the biggest losers under I-1033.

    But even homeowners lose out. The tax rebated to lower property taxes is not based on the sales taxes or other fees you pay but on the amount of property you own.

    And what Eyman won’t tell you is that some 40% of the tax rebate will go to commercial real estate, like Bellevue Square and real estate developers and large corporations like Boeing and Weyerhaeuser.

    Last year some 57% of state revenue came from sales taxes but businesses already have a sales tax exemption for goods they resell. The ultimate payer is the consumer.

    For all those yelling how great Eyman is and I-1033 is, just wait until they realize that their sales tax dollars are going to help wealthy property owners like Kemper Freeman pay his property taxes on Bellevue Square. Freeman gave Eyman $25,000 to get I-1033 on the ballot.

    The biggest beneficiaries of I-1033 are wealthy property owners and corporations and large businesses. The losers are those who rent or don’t own lots of property.

    Eyman says its more important to help corporations and wealthy property owners pay their property taxes than it is to educate our kids, keep roads repaired, keep libraries and parks open, hire more police or firemen, provide health care and home services to keep seniors in their homes or help low income kids have health care.

    What a deal. Sounds to me like welfare for corporations and wealthy property owners and the rest of us lose.

    Vote No on I-1033 and keep Tim Eyman’s hands out of our pockets. Times are tough enough without stealing tax dollars to help wealthy property owners.

  2. Steve Zemke MajorityRulesBlog on October 6th, 2009 5:24 pm

    Spread the word and tell people to vote NO on Eyman’s latest scheme to pick your pockets for the wealthy. Becasue 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
    paying for colleges and universities
    public health services
    and the list goes on.

    But here is all that your tax dollars above Eyman’s recession level funding will go for if I-1033 passes.:

    paying property taxes for property owners

    That’s all.

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