Old dog Eyman just ain’t learning any new tricks. Initiative 1033, which he filed today with the Washington State Secretary of State is just another old trick to transfer money from the poor to those better off, namely property owners.
Eyman latest scheme puts a limit on state, county and city revenue growth by limiting year to year growth to the previous year plus local population growth and a national inflation index. Because it’s indexed to the previous years growth, every time you have a bad year or two, revenues the government will be able to spend will decrease from its previous high
When you have bad times economically that’s usually when more people need help from government. But Eyman does not propose decreasing the sales tax, which is regressive. Last year 57% of state tax revenues came from the sales tax.
Eyman proposes that instead money over his national inflation and population increase will go to help reduce taxes on those that own property. For homeowners the US Census Bureau last year said that some 65% of Washington State households were owner occupied. That means that 35% of households in the state will see excess money collected from sales taxes, for example, go as a tax break to those able to afford homes.
This is very much a reverse Robin Hood economic model Tim Eyman style. Tax the poor and transfer the money to help the wealthy pay lower property taxes. We’ve already been classified as the most regressive state in the country on taxation. This will only make things worse.
If you truly want to help the people who need help on property taxes the most, low and middle income people trying to make a go of things, help them on the property taxes. Things like a Homestead Exemption on one’s principal residence or circuit breaker legislation would be the right way to go.
Initiative 1033 is not an answer to property taxes problems. If it qualifies for the ballot, voters would be wise to reject Eyman’ latest wealth transfer scheme for the rich.