To the Editor:
I-1033 brings back previously successful policies passed by the voters. 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.
I-601 worked very well for 12 years until 2005 when Gov. Gregoire and the Democrats got rid of the growth limit. Removing I-601’s reasonable fiscal discipline and policies resulted in a massive deficit ($9 billion).
Repealing I-601’s limit in 2005 allowed them to take their budget on a fiscal roller coaster, overextending themselves in good times — creating unsustainable budgets — which inevitably made the bad times even worse. 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? First, a fixed percentage of tax revenue is transferred into the constitutionally-protected rainy day fund. Beyond that, the remainder of excess tax revenues gets refunded back to taxpayers via lower property taxes. Under I-1033, everyone’s property taxes will be reduced. 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 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 want higher taxes and a state income tax. Opponents are against any limit on government’s power to take as much as they want from the taxpayers.
Both Forbes magazine and the Tax Foundation rank Washington as the eighth highest taxed state in the nation. Citizens need relief.
Property taxes keep going higher and higher and government keeps getting bigger and bigger. 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 the taxpayers’ ability to afford it.
I-1033 is needed now more than ever. ♦
— Tim Eyman, co-sponsor of Initiative 1033 and head of Voters Want More Choices
Editor’s note: Mr. Eyman is responding to last week’s letter to the editor, “I-1033 threatens basic services for the APA community”