Tim Eyman’s latest proposed initiative continues his right wing libertarian approach to try to shut down state government. He is proposing to limit tax increases to one year and push for repeated votes at tax payer expense for minority rule that would let a 1/3 minority of Legislators run our state government by taking over the Washington State Legislature. It is a recipe for disaster.
Our current problem in the legislature is not one of over taxation but of out of control tax expenditures given by Legislators to special interests. The state has a revenue problem – giving away tax exemptions instead of collecting revenue. See http://dor.wa.gov/docs/reports/2012/Exemption_study_2012/Intro_and_Summary_of_findings.pdf
Take B&O taxes listed in the 2012 State Tax Exemption Report -on B&O taxes on business – the state gave out 176 tax breaks totaling some $7.5 billion while collecting only $6.5 billion in revenue. The exemptions were 54% of the potential tax base.
The 2012 Tax Exemption Study also stated that in the 2011 – 2013 budget some $21 billion was collected in B&O taxes and sales/use taxes. At the same time some $20 billion in these same taxes was not collected and was essentially an expenditure of state funds to support those that got the exemption.
The state currently has some 640 tax exemptions in place. Under a 2/3 Constitution Amendment tax expenditures could be put in place by a majority vote but would require a 2/3 vote to repeal.
A 2/3 vote constitutional amendment would lock in all these exemptions that are forcing higher taxes on those that pay and don’t get an exemption. It is a recipe for disaster.
Eyman’s anti-tax hysteria borders on the ludicrous. It serves no purpose but to push a radical philosophy exposed by those like Grover Norquist and Tea Party fanatics to shut down government. It is irresponsible and harmful to the state government and Washington State’s residents. It would prevent significant tax reform and benefit special interests and corporations while hurting those who need state help. It would prevent adequate funding of education and other essential state services.
People need to say NO to Eyman’s continued anti-tax monologue. Enough is enough.