The League Of Women Voters of Washington is urging voters to vote against 4 measures on the November 2, ballot and to support two others. They urge a NO vote on I-1053 to give a minority of Legislators the power to overrule the majority. This is contrary to the State Constitution. They oppose I-1100 and I-1105 – the two initiatives to deregulate the liquor industry in the state. They also oppose I-1107 which was put on the ballot by the soft drink industry to repeal a 2 cent tax on pop and candy.
The League is supporting I-1098 to raise new revenue to support our state schools and health care and reduce B&O taxes and state property taxes. They also support Referendum 52 to raise bonds to rehab our schools to make them more healthy and energy efficient, saving taxpayer dollars over the long term.
Here is more specific information on the Leagues positions on these measures:
Yes Referendum Bill 52: Engrossed House Bill 2561 passed the 2010 legislature and was signed by Governor Gregoire. The bill was named the Jobs Act. The bill provides for state general obligation bonds of up to $505 million to fund energy efficiency projects in the state’s K-12 schools and higher education facilities. The bonds would be funded by extending the current state tax on bottled water beyond its current expiration date of 2013. Because this bonding amount exceeds the state’s current debt limit, the bill must be submitted to the state’s voters.
The national League’s positions on Natural Resources, particularly those related to global climate change, together with the extensive work the national League has done in support of national climate change legislation, are the basis for League to support Referendum 52. LWVWA supported EHB 2561 in the 2010 legislative session.
Yes Initiative 1098: concerns establishing a state income tax and reducing other taxes. This measure would tax “adjusted gross income” above $200,000 (individuals) and $400,000 (joint-filers), reduce state property tax levies, reduce certain business and occupation taxes, and direct any increased revenues to education and health.
League of Women Voters of Washington position on tax structure states: Inequities in the distribution of the tax burden should be removed. Ability to pay is an important criterion. Flexibility and recognition of changing times and needs is important in tax policy. Income should be part of the tax base preferably through a graduated net income tax.
The League of Women Voters of Washington Board of Directors has voted to oppose the following:
No Initiative 1053: concerns tax and fee increases imposed by state government. This measure would restate existing statutory requirements that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval.
National League position includes that government must have the knowledge, resources and power to make decisions that meet citizens needs and reconcile conflicting
interests and priorities, and it must be able to function in an efficient manner with a minimum of conflict, wasted time and duplication of effort.
No Initiative Measure No. 1100 concerns liquor (beer, wine and spirits). This measure would close state liquor stores; authorize sale, distribution, and importation of spirits by private parties; and repeal certain requirements that govern the business operations of beer and wine distributors and producers.
According to the Office of Financial Management, I-1100 would lower state revenue approximately $25 million per year through the privatization of liquor.
No Initiative Measure No. 1105 concerns liquor (beer, wine and spirits). This measure would close all state liquor stores and license private parties to sell or distribute spirits. It would revise laws concerning regulation, taxation and government revenues from distribution and sale of spirits.
According to the Office of Financial Management, I-1105 would lower state revenue approximately $100 million per year through the privatization of liquor.
No Initiative 1107 concerns reversing certain 2010 amendments to state tax laws. This measure would end sales tax on candy; end temporary sales tax on some bottled water; end temporary excise taxes on carbonated beverages; and reduce tax rates for certain food processors.
According to the Office of Financial Management, I-1107 would lower state tax revenue by 55 million in the current fiscal year and $218 million in the upcoming biennium by removing the tax on candy, gum, bottled water, soda and reinstating tax loopholes.
League believes all initiatives proposed should “require how revenue losses or budget increases might be covered, either through program cuts or increases in revenue sources.” (League position on Initiatives, IR-4)