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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Re: Democrats 4 Eyman

posted by on March 28 at 17:15 PM

Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Medina), chair of the State House Finance Committee, told me yesterday that the Democrats would be taking up a bill to codify Tim Eyman’s I-747 (the one percent property tax cap) in caucus today.

Word is: that didn’t happen. That’s a good thing.

Why the super majority Democrats would even consider handing Eyman a victory these days is questionable enough. More questionable though is why they would respond to voter concerns about property taxes (the poorest homeowners pay 6 percent of their income in property taxes—seniors are particularly hard hit—while the richest bracket pays 2.8 percent) by codifying a “fix” that’s already in play and so—obviously isn’t a fix.

Luckily, there is a way to address the problem of regressive property taxes. The concept is known as a property tax circuit breaker. It works like this: When property-tax bills reach a certain percentage of a homeowner’s income (say five percent), they get a tax credit. A circuit breaker proposal developed by the Washington Budget and Policy Center is, the Center claims, revenue neutral. It would give the poorest 20 percent of homeowners a 14.9 percent tax cut; the next 20 percent would get about a 12 percent cut, the middle 20 percent would get a 1.9 percent cut, and the top 40 percent would see a 2 percent increase.

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Oh, how I long for the days of Rep. Jim McIntire running the show. Emperor Chopp took away his chairmanship of the House Finance Committee because McIntire was someone who wanted REAL tax reform, i.e. cut out the BS tax "incentives" for corporations and take steps to create a more progressive tax structure. McIntire's support for an income tax made "moderates from outside of Seattle" a little nervous. Seems all the talk about numbers made their head hurt when at Town Halls in their districts. Too bad we now have a conservative pro-business millionaire Democrat from Mercer Island running tax policy in Olympia. Thanks Frank.

Posted by taxreformer | March 28, 2007 10:11 PM

oops, my mistake: our new finance guy Mr. Hunter is from working class MEDINA, certainly not the high end neighborhoods of Mercer Island as I noted above.

Posted by taxreformer | March 28, 2007 10:15 PM

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