Initiative 1033 Transfers Tax Burden onto Lower Income Taxpayers

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 points out the difficulty of trying to write complex legislation and budget by initiative. Tax and budget issues are not simple and most people do not understand our tax and revenue system

Eyman proposes to freeze government services at this year’s level and transfer any revenue received over that limit to reduce property taxes.

I-1033 winds up being a wealth transfer scheme. On the state level, revenue to the current budget comes from several sources.

retail sales taxes 54%
Business & occupation tax 19.5%
property taxes 10.4%
real estate excise tax (on sales of homes) 4.1%
other 13.4%

Taxes come in from multiple sources but Eyman does not propose people get rebates for what they have paid in taxes. Rebates only go to property owners. Some 35% of households are renters. Sales taxes everyone pays.

This scheme shifts the tax burden to low and middle income taxpayers to only benefit people who own property including commercial property. The rebate is not proportional to the taxes above that anyone paid, only to the amount of property one owns.

I-1033 has people without property paying taxes for property owners. Renters lose twice by not getting any rebate or seeing their tax dollars go to fund services they need or could use.

I-1033 has many unforeseen consequences. Most voters can not understand what it does based only on reading a simplistic ballot title on their ballot. Even reading the initiative does not make it clear.

People would be wise to vote No on such a complex measure that in my opinion is not going to help them. A property tax homestead exemption on ones principal home makes a lot more sense. Eyman opposes that. Eyman’s scheme just transfers more money to people with lots of property.

For example Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square gave Eyman $25,000 to get I-1033 on the ballot. He stands to see a $1.7 million reduction in his property taxes each year. You and I would be paying for that.

Vote No on I-1033 and keep Tim Eyman’s hands out of your pockets. Times are tough enough without transferring more tax burden onto low and middle income taxpayers or freezing government servies at their current recession level.

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