January 25, 2011

What part of "no" didn't you hear in November, Marko? Voters said no to a state income tax, no to 2 cents on a can of pop, King County voters said no to a tiny sales tax increase for always popular criminal justice, and liberal Edmonds voters -- folks who Rep. Marko Liias supposedly represents -- trounced higher car tab fees.

Voters sent a very clear "no new taxes" message in November -- it was so clear that even Gregoire heard it ("She's recognizing what the majority of Washingtonians told her," says Gregoire spokesperson Karina Shagren. "And that is: Do this with no new revenue. We're taxed out." ... "Reality is that while she could certainly come out and push the legislature to come up with new sources of revenue, I think some would say: 'This is just a big waste of time because this is never going to happen.'")

When it comes to taking more of the people's money, voters overwhelmingly passed I-1053 and here's what they were saying: "Here's the rules: if you're going to raise my taxes, either the Legislature gets a two-thirds vote or the voters get to decide."

Liias' bill -- House Bill 1536 -- ignores that completely.

And as we reported last week, the levels of voter support for I-1053 by legislative district are stunning (Liias' district went 61% yes on I-1053).

Other flaws in HB 1536:

* As we've been saying for months, I-1053 said that it must be the elected representatives in the Legislature, not unelected bodies like the Transportation Commission, that must make "revenue" decisions. This bill totally ignores that.

* Temporary taxes? No such thing.

* Voters have repeatedly approved initiatives setting car tabs at $30 and requiring voter approval for anything higher. Every city that has ever asked its citizens whether they support higher car tab fees -- in every case -- the voters have rejected the increase (most recently in Edmonds).

* On February 8th, voters in Pierce County will vote on a 0.3% sales tax increase to fund Pierce transit (Proposition 1). It looks like it's going to go down in flames. Even the uber-liberal editorial board at the Tacoma News Tribune has come out against it (Come back, Pierce Transit, with a tighter Plan B). Here's a fascinating story about the Pierce County Council opposing it (County Councilman wants his colleagues to pass a resolution opposing Pierce Transit's sales tax increase proposal on the Feb. 8 ballot). The point is: even voters in Pierce county oppose higher taxes right now for anything, including transit.

Liias' bill is arrogant and disrespectful of the voters. It failed to pass the Legislature last year; in light of the overwhelming 'no-new-taxes' vote in November, it should fail again.

For more background, here's a Seattle Times story about the issue.

Posted by Tim Eyman at January 25, 2011 03:44 PM | Email This
1. Love the photo over at the Stranger with your face photoshopped onto Christine Gregoire's headshot!

Posted by: Michele on January 25, 2011 06:05 PM
2. Tim--
Notice how Gregoire & the Democrats have gotten the Times and others to stop focusing on State Employee Wages, Benefits, Pensions & Paid Time-off?? This is Union Goal #1, change focus...however, the fact is these line-items are #1 cause of the fiscal mess were are in. Unsustainable compensation.
Time to shift the focus back to where it belongs.

Need to have State Employees take a 5% salary cut, pay 30% of their Health Care, cut the number of Paid Days off by 25% so we can lay off more State Employees...and of course, the Pension System must be revamped. Lots of folks getting 60% of their 2 highest years...where their last 2 years were extraordinarily higher than the first 28 years.

Posted by: Grego on January 26, 2011 07:14 AM
3. to even propose this tax scares for a number of reasons--1 = disconnect from november; 2 = reality of business and household everyday budget squeezings; 3 = and i hope not--arrogance for those voters who employ you--look--your average senior citizen who's paid their dues does not see 6-7-8% increases in their benefits, but local cities raise their taxes and fees every year--so--are the legislators living in Iowa or do they not see the districts they serve at their feet....

Posted by: jimmie howya-doin on January 27, 2011 10:29 PM
4. Yes, and hopefully they will hear that, along with no new taxes, King County is tired of listening to hypocritical Red counties taking far more in taxes than they pay into the system.

Since you are opposed to new taxes and we need to cut back on spending, Yakima seems to be the best place to start considering they among the biggest leech in the state.

Posted by: Ty on January 28, 2011 04:23 PM
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