Editorial boards all across Washington State are endorsing NO on Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 because they recognize the immense harm that I-1033 would inflict upon our state by locking in budget cuts and redirecting future sales taxes to pay for a special property tax cut for the rich.
But don't take our word for it. Here's theirs:
Tough times would last longer under I-1033 (Spokesman-Review)
City and county snowplowing costs didn’t soar the past two winters because the population doubled. Snowfall did. Criminals don’t check the consumer price index to decide when to hold up a convenience store. If anything, crime – and the demand for sufficient law enforcement – is more likely to increase when the economy sours, which is also when public revenues dip. Under I-1033, therefore, it would be harder to bolster the police force when it most needs bolstering.
I-1033's cost outweighs savings, should be defeated (Yakima Herald-Republic)
Look at Yakima County. It faces a $3 million shortfall next year. If the initiative had been in place since 2002, the county would have faced an additional $15 million in curtailed revenue, a prospect that would surely have led to severe cuts in law enforcement and courts, which comprise nearly 80 percent of the county's budget. Furthermore, the initiative does not exempt rainy day funds for cities and counties from the revenue cap. How fiscally prudent is that, Mr. Eyman?
Reject Initiative 1033; right ailment, wrong cure (Tri-City Herald)
The measure would use the worst economic recession in decades as the base line for establishing limits on county and city revenue growth. Every part of government would be hurt -- police and fire protection, schools, programs to help the elderly and disabled, public health programs, maintenance for our parks, roads and other infrastructure -- you name it.
I-1033 will hamstring local government (Daily Evergreen)
I-1033 is based on an ideology, not reality. It would force every city and county – regardless of size – to adhere to the same one-size-fits-all policies. Every community has different problems and priorities that cannot be addressed in the same uniform manner. There is a reason why voters in Colorado suspended a similar initiative in 2005: Placing rigid draconian limits on the government hinders its ability to provide essential services such as education and health care.
In our view: ‘No' on I-1033 (The Columbian)
Are you intimidated or depressed by the economic recession? Then you ought to feel downright aghast at the presence of Initiative 1033 on the Nov. 3 ballot. It's a real recovery killer for state, county and city governments. That's why this latest gimmick from professional initiative peddler Tim Eyman is opposed by major statewide groups representing businesses, educators, firefighters, police officers, senior citizens, labor unions, hospitals, health care workers and government services providers. They know that, even as we languish mired (best-case scenario) at the bottom of the recession, I-1033 would reduce projected state revenue by $5.9 billion in the next six years.
Here's another way not to do it (Daily Astorian)
The Evergreen state will have plenty of other troubles to sort out without tying its own hands. I-1033 is like a family trying to make a budget by arbitrarily limiting its own income. Better not get sick. The kids better not lose a coat. Better hope you don't come across an unexpected opportunity for an investment in the future. According to the nonpartisan Office of Financial Management, I-1033 will slice state revenues by $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.
Reject Initiative 1033, the wrong restraint on state spending (The Seattle Times)
I-1033 uses excess collections of all taxes to reduce one tax, the property tax. The effect, after five years of a normal economy, is that the state property tax "goes almost to zero," said Kriss Sjoblom, vice president of the nonpartisan Washington Research Council. I-1033 would quietly erase the state's one major tax on wealth, leaving the state depending on the business revenue tax and the sales tax. These fall more in recessions than the property tax does, putting the state more at risk.
I-1033 puts unreasonable constraints on state and local governments (Walla Walla Union Bulletin)
This proposal, which is co-sponsored by Tim Eyman, puts unreasonable and unnecessary constraints on government. This could -- and likely will -- result in cuts to schools, law enforcement, fire protection and street maintenance that voters didn't expect or want. I-1033 is so rigid in capping revenue that it forces government to run on autopilot. It doesn't allow our elected leaders to use judgment and reason.
I-1033 goes too far and could hurt cities to spite state (The Olympian)
While the state will have almost $6 billion less to spend over a five-year period if I-1033 passes, cities are expected to lose out on $2.1 billion with counties losing $694 million. To bring that to the local level, Olympia stands to lose $27.9 million over five years, Lacey $16 million and Tumwater 7.8 million. Those are less dollars to spend on police and fire protection, city and county parks, recreation programs and the myriad of services the public has come to expect. The fiscal binds put in place by I-1033 would cripple local governments, locking them into a base budget level that has already been decimated by the recession.
Initiative 1033: No (The Stranger)
Picture this lean year, when we had to lay off roughly 3,000 teachers and cut basic health services for 40,000 people, as the best it's ever going to get from here on out. Or picture Colorado. Years ago, that state passed a similar law that devastated its education and health-care funding, even eliminating vaccines for kids. Or California, which is an economic basket case thanks to initiatives like this one. We shouldn't make the same mistake those states did. Hundreds of groups—including virtually every Democratic organization in Washington—oppose I-1033. You should, too. Vote no.
Eyman measure overreaches (Everett Herald)
I-1033 would use 2009 as its budget baseline, keeping those services from being fully restored as the economy rebounds. It would also create disincentives for local governments to act wisely. Some of the best job-creating commercial developments are the product of partnerships between business and local governments — with private interests investing in plant and equipment and government providing some infrastructure improvements and basic services like police and fire protection. The local government’s investment is repaid in tax revenue produced by new economic activity, which also benefits parks, road maintenance, and other local services.
1033: Symptom of dissatisfaction, but not the cure (Skagit Valley Herald)
Budgeting by the initiative process is simplistic and destructive. We elect our legislators, county commissions and city councils to set government priorities and allocate the tax revenues to pay for them. Measures like Initiative 1033 toss the people’s priorities out the window. Tim Eyman, who hawks anti-tax initiatives for a living, is always waiting in the wings to upstage a Legislature that has long failed to address tax reform. But his past success with initiatives should be seen as a symptom, rather than the cause, of state and local governments’ revenue problems.