Critical Analysis: Background Information

The following documents describe the tremendous consequences that would stem from passage of Initiative 1033. All of these materials are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF). Note that many of these materials are provided for educational purposes only by governments or charitable organizations and are not intended to convey a position against Initiative 1033. Excerpts are italicized below to provide a glimpse of the contents.

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I-1033: Eyman's Permanent Recession (Sightline Institute)
The recession has been tough for Northwest families. Layoffs, pay reductions, and significant cutbacks to important services have left us all feeling the pinch. Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 in Washington would set these financial hardships in stone. We've seen how this kind of move crippled Colorado's economy. This series takes a close look at the 2009 cuts that would be made permanent in Washington's communities if I-1033 passes.

I-1033's Impact on Counties (Budget & Policy Center)
Washington State’s 39 counties play key roles in our public infrastructure, including public safety, public health, transportation, parks, and libraries. The recession has hit county budgets hard and many are facing deep budget cuts. If Initiative 1033 were to pass, it would have a disastrous impact on county governments and on the services they provide, at a time when they can least afford it. According to the Office of Financial Management, counties stand to lose a total of $694 million by 2015.

Initiative 1033: Lid or Hammer? (Puget Sound Economic Forecaster)
I-1033 is a lid on state and local taxes, but its impact would be more like that of a sledge hammer. Rather than letting the public sector expand along with the rest of the economy, it would knock down Washington state and local government one brick at a time. In ten years, our ability to provide the quantity and quality of public goods and services required for a competitive economy and a high standard of living would be the lowest in the nation. Is that what the people of Washington want?

I-1033's Problematic Measure of Inflation (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
The Implicit Price Deflator is a poor mechanism for setting levels of spending on public services because it does not actually reflect the cost of those services. State and local governments in Washington spend three-fourths of their non-federal revenues — the revenues that would be subject to I-1033 — on K-12 education, higher education, health care, transportation, and public safety.

Municipal League Opposes Initiative 1033 (Municipal League)
The Municipal League of King County opposes Initiative 1033. Washington State is experiencing a severe recession. State and local governments have instituted drastic budget cuts affecting education, health care, human services, parks, corrections and many other programs that citizens rely on, especially during hard times.

Washington Hospitals Oppose Initiative 1033 (Washington State Hospital Association)
Hospitals were badly affected by the budget cuts made in 2009 by the Governor and the Washington State Legislature. Communities across the state are losing valuable health care staff and health services. Everyone will be affected by the cuts, with crowded emergency rooms, fewer caregivers, and longer wait times. I-1033 would make these cuts permanent. Many legislators said the budget did not reflect their values and pledged to work to reverse the cuts when the economy recovers. I-1033 would lock in this year’s budget as the baseline and prevent legislators from mitigating the cuts. The worst of times in Washington State would become the best we can expect.

The Facts About Initiative 1033 (City of Port Angeles Finance Department)
I-1033 will limit the ability of governments to keep up with the cost of providing necessary services, which typically have higher-than-average inflation rates. It would negatively impact the City's ability to make long term commitments in economic development, police and fire protection, as well as infrastructure improvements to streets and sidewalks. I-1033 does not consider the unanticipated costs of natural disasters, unfunded mandates and other emerging public priorities.

Time will Tel: Voters to Decide the Fate of Initiative 1033 (Washington Research Council)
Even without passage of I-1033, the budget outlook for 2011–13 is grim. While the 2009 legislature did make substantial real cuts in spending, it also relied heavily on onetime money to balance the 2009–11 budget. Incorporating the June forecast, general fund spending for the biennium exceeds revenues by $1.4 billion. In addition, $2.5 billion in federal stimulus funds are being used to sustain programs that would normally be funded through the general fund. For 2011–13 these programs will shift back to the general fund.

Summary of Initiative 1033 (Senate Committee Services)
County and city general fund revenues are defined as the aggregate of revenue from taxes, fees and other governmental charges received by the county or city deposited into the county current expense fund or city general fund. I-1033 does not define "other governmental charges," so there are potential uncertainties about revenues received in county current expense funds or city general funds which flow from other sources of income than taxes, fees, or other governmental charges.

Tim Eyman's I-1033: Don't Buy It! (Washington State Labor Council)
I-1033 jeopardizes our families’ safety... I-1033 would block police and fire departments from recovering to normal staffing levels. Fewer emergency services personnel means higher response times in life-and-death situations. Meanwhile, recession-forced prison cuts are resulting not only in job cuts and jail closures, but also in criminals being released and some offenders no longer being supervised upon their release. I-1033 makes those cuts permanent.

Defendants' Response Opposing Issuance of Writs (Attorney General's office)
Legal pleadings filed with Thurston County Superior Court asking the Court to dismiss an action brought by Tim Eyman and his associates to compel the Office of Financial Management to revise its Fiscal Impact Statement for I-1033. The response points outeven that Tim Eyman and his attorneys do not appear to understand the initiative that they drafted. See Pages 11-12.

Summary of Initiative 1033 (Association of Washington Cities)
The limit established by I-1033 would apply to city general fund revenues in 2010, with the limit set at 2009 revenues adjusted for inflation and population growth. Although the initiative states that new voterapproved revenues would be exempt for 2010, it also states that new voterapproved revenue is defined as the increase in revenue approved by the city’s voters after the effective date of this act. Since the November election is the last of 2009, any voterapproved tax increases passed in 2009 would likely be subject to this initiative and not excluded from the revenue limitations.

Fiscal Impact Statement (Office of Financial Management)
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.

Initiative No. 1033 – an Initiative Limiting State, County and City Revenue (K&L Gates)
[T]he constitutionality of the initiative, as well as its impact on laws that authorize existing voter-approved revenues and that limit the use of certain revenues, will require consideration... Two areas require immediate attention: disclosing to potential bond investors the potential impact of I-1033, and modifying ballot language for upcoming special election questions to anticipate the initiative, where possible.