Initiative 1033 Cuts $8.7 Billion From Public Services by 2015

Tim Eyman’s 1033 would cut public services by Washington State and its counties and cities by some $8.7 billion over the first 5 years it is in effect. This is on top of current cuts due to the recession we are in.

Because I-1033 would freeze public services at this year’s level next year plus a small adjustment for inflation and population it functions to continue our recession level spending and doesn’t allow for services cut to balance the budget this year to be restored even if the economy improves.. Such actions would surely contribute to continuing Washington State in a recession mode economy and we would lag behind others states in our economic recovery.

The fiscal impact of I-1033 has been determined by the Office of Financial Management to be almost $9 billion over the next 5 years. Specifically they said:

The initiative reduces state general fund revenues that support education; social, health and environmental services; and general government activities by an estimated $5.9 billion by 2015. The initiative also reduces general fund revenues that support public safety, infrastructure and general government activities by an estimated $694 million for counties and $2.1 billion for cities by 2015.”

Here’s the link to the original document -“Fiscal Impact Statement by the Office of Financial Management” so you can read it yourself.

I-1033 would use these funds to offset property taxes. Our current state and local tax burden per capita according to the conservative Tax Foundation ranks us as 35th (with being the highest). Our property taxes rank 25th. Our per capita income ranks 8th.

Using future tax revenue over the baseline to offset property taxes is an income distribution scheme that benefits those that own property but hurts renters and low income families and seniors and working families that do not own property. They will still pay the same taxes but they will see no rebate on their taxes or services that might have been funded with this money.

The big winners under Eyman’s I-1033 are big property owners, corporations, businesses, shopping mall owners, and real estate developers. I-1033 is a reverse Robin Hood scheme taking taxes paid by the poor and using them to pay property taxes for wealthy property owners.

Some 40% of this special interest tax break will go to pay commercial real estate property taxes. Only 65% of households in our state are owner occupied. So 35% of households will see no property tax rebate.

I-1033 is a poorly worded and complex measure that deserves to be rejected by voters. Vote NO on I-1033 this November 3rd, 2009.

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