News Re: Democrats 4 Eyman
posted by March 28 at 17:15 PMon
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.