Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 does not give “refunds to taxpayers”. It is much more complicated than that. It is a wealth redistribution scheme that shifts tax burden onto lower income folks to benefit just those that own property.
Under I-1033, sales taxes and other fees will still be the same as before. Last year sales taxes accounted for 57% of state revenue. Everyone pays sales taxes but not everyone has property.
The conservative Tax Foundation notes that Washington State ranks 25th in terms of property taxes per capita but number 1 in terms of sales taxes. We have no state income tax yet rank 8th highest in income per capita. Overall the Tax Foundation says that we are in the bottom third of states in terms of state and local tax burden, coming in at 35th (with 1 being the highest)
Those who lose under I-1033 are renters; those who gain are wealthy property owners. You see the rebate Eyman proposes is not based on what you pay in sales taxes and fees but on what you own in property. The more property you own, the more you benefit. But not everyone owns property.
Senior citizens on fixed income and working families who don’t own homes lose twice; they pay the same taxes but get no rebate or see new or restored public services.
The US Census Bureau says last year that some 35% of households in Washington State are not owner occupied but rented or leased. If you want to reduce taxes do it fairly; like just cut sales taxes or property taxes.
But to shift the burden of paying property taxes onto people who don’t own property is ridiculous and unfair.
In addition some 40% of the property tax rebate goes to pay commercial property taxes. Yet businesses already have a sales tax exemption for goods they purchase for resale. Consumers pay the sales tax on the end product.
Property taxes already are limited to a 1% aggregate increase a year which in most years does not even keep up with inflation.
All in all, Initiative 1033 is a poorly thought out proposal. Read the initiative yourself before voting. It’s not as simple or straight forward as Eyman wants you to believe.