Tag Archives: Wealth Transfer

Initiative 1033 Transfers Tax Burden onto Lower Income Taxpayers

Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 points out the difficulty of trying to write complex legislation and budget by initiative. Tax and budget issues are not simple and most people do not understand our tax and revenue system

Eyman proposes to freeze government services at this year’s level and transfer any revenue received over that limit to reduce property taxes.

I-1033 winds up being a wealth transfer scheme. On the state level, revenue to the current budget comes from several sources.

retail sales taxes 54%
Business & occupation tax 19.5%
property taxes 10.4%
real estate excise tax (on sales of homes) 4.1%
other 13.4%

Taxes come in from multiple sources but Eyman does not propose people get rebates for what they have paid in taxes. Rebates only go to property owners. Some 35% of households are renters. Sales taxes everyone pays.

This scheme shifts the tax burden to low and middle income taxpayers to only benefit people who own property including commercial property. The rebate is not proportional to the taxes above that anyone paid, only to the amount of property one owns.

I-1033 has people without property paying taxes for property owners. Renters lose twice by not getting any rebate or seeing their tax dollars go to fund services they need or could use.

I-1033 has many unforeseen consequences. Most voters can not understand what it does based only on reading a simplistic ballot title on their ballot. Even reading the initiative does not make it clear.

People would be wise to vote No on such a complex measure that in my opinion is not going to help them. A property tax homestead exemption on ones principal home makes a lot more sense. Eyman opposes that. Eyman’s scheme just transfers more money to people with lots of property.

For example Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square gave Eyman $25,000 to get I-1033 on the ballot. He stands to see a $1.7 million reduction in his property taxes each year. You and I would be paying for that.

Vote No on I-1033 and keep Tim Eyman’s hands out of your pockets. Times are tough enough without transferring more tax burden onto low and middle income taxpayers or freezing government servies at their current recession level.

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Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1033 Grassroots Joke

We all love a good joke. Tim Eyman told one the other day on KING 5 News Up Front Blog. He was bragging about how much grassroots fundraising support Initiative 1033 had gotten.

Initiative 1033 is Eyman’s latest wealth transfer scheme. This one is to transfer state tax revenue, of which 57% comes from the state sales tax, to commercial and residential property owners in the form of reduced property taxes. The more property you own, the larger your tax break or loophole.

Anyway, twice on the Up Front blog comment thread Eyman couldn’t resist claiming I-1033 has “a very broad base of grassroots support.” He claims that he has “received 2063 individual donations totaling $664,769 so far. 2063 – that’s really extraordinary…”

What’s extraordinary is that how big a misrepresentation of the facts this is. The fact is that only 3 donors contributed some 86.5% of the money raised for I-1033.

Michael Dunmire of Woodinville gave $300,000. Tim Eyman borrowed $250,000 and loaned it to the campaign. And Kemper Holdings LLC of Bellevue owned by Kemper Freeman who owns Bellevue Square Mall gave $25,000.

These top 3 donors in the campaign contributed 86.5% of the total cash raised. This hardly sounds like a grassroots campaign to me. Especially since they spent $598,081 to get the signatures. That’s an average of $1.89/signature.

I was also curious how Eyman’s number of individual donations doesn’t match up with what the Public Disclosure Commission has.

The PDC reports Eyman raised $664,769 through June. This is the figure he used in his comment. Yet the PDC website lists only some 897 contributions. A closer look revealed that some contributors gave 2 or 3 or 4 times, so the numbers of contributions is actually more than the number of contributors.

The PDC in addition lists without names or amounts some $20,345.56 Eyman reported as small contributions so I’m sure that this is where his 2063 “contributions” come from.

The funny part is that under named contributors he lists one person as giving 5 cents four different times. (That’s 4 contributions!) Another gave 7 cents 2 different times (That’s 2 more contributions!) and a third contributor gave 2 cents.

Manipulating numbers is so much fun. The number of contributions is obviously not the same as contributors and can easily be manipulated. And recording someone giving a nickel to I-1033 four times makes it easy to inflate the number of contributions made.

Have one person give me $25.00 in pennies one at a time and I’ll have more grassroots support than Eyman. What a joke!