When you send a message to the Governor you would hope that someone actually reads it. I’m sure the Governor doesn’t read all of her e-mail but someone should at least be keeping track of what the public is saying.
So you figure – I sent a message to the Governor questioning the rush to pass I-747. We need property tax relief that addresses the unfairness of laws like I-747 with its across the board cuts that benefit wealthy property owners more than middle and low income property owners. Re-enacting I-747 doesn’t address the real property tax problem.
So the Governor responds back with the following e-mail.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Initiative 747. I know that voters are disappointed by this, and I am committed to acting quickly to resolve the situation.
I-747 was approved in 2001 by a large margin, and the will of the voters should be respected. I have called the legislature into a special session on November 29 to address this issue, and will be asking that the one percent property tax limitation be reinstated.
Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. During this year’s election I heard loud and clear that voters are concerned about their tax burden. It is our responsibility to move quickly, recognizing these concerns and reinstating the will of the voters.
Christine O. Gregoire
Whoever reads the Governor’s e-mail and whose job it is to respond should at least write up 2 different responses – one for those supporting her position and one for those opposing it. I was not disappointed by the Supreme Court overturning I-747. Many voters are not disappointed because it is an unfair tax that doesn’t provide the type of help low and middle income property owners could use.
I am disappointed in Governor Gregoire – that she is caving into Tim Eyman and Dino Rossi and seems to have no clue about real property tax reform. She should be looking at ways to relieve the tax burden on low and middle income taxpayers and proposing legislation for a homestead exemption or circuit breaker legislation.
People forget that there is no magic in a 1% limit that doesn’t allow government revenue to even keep pace with inflation. People forget that Eyman first wrote an initiative with a 2% limit that voters passed but which the courts threw out.
As the Tacoma News Tribune wrote in an editorial recently, ” I-747 wasn’t thoughtful; it was a spiteful attack on all local governments because a handful of them had challenged I-722’s 2 percent limit in court.” To now just re-enact I-747 without considering the long term consequences that are building up because it prevents revenue from even keeping up with inflation, would be irresponsible on the part of the Legislature.
The Washington State Legislature should show leadership on this issue and only approve I-747 as a holding pattern on property taxes by adding a sunset provision. Then they should do a study of the impacts of I-747 on needed revenue for local and state government. They should hold hearings and pass legislation for a homestead exemption or pass circuit breaker legislation.
But just reinstating I-747 without evaluating its impacts on local and state governments and without exploring alternatives that are more helpful and fairer to low and middle income taxpayers would show a Governor and a Legislature out of touch with the real world.