Rasmussen Reports, a polling firm, has released a poll on state Initiative 1033. The findings show that 61 percent of voters would vote yes, 31 percent would vote no, and 8 percent are undecided. Five-hundred people were surveyed on September 22 with the following question:
A statewide initiative will be on the ballot this November. We'd like to ask if you support it or not:
The initiative concerns state, county and city revenue. Here is the ballot title: This measure would limit growth of certain state, county and city revenue to annual inflation and population growth, not including voter-approved revenue increases. Revenue collected above the limit would reduce property tax levies. Do you definitely favor, probably favor, probably oppose, or definitely oppose this initiative?
As I've said before, Eyman's initiative would fuck the state of Washington, even though the language seems innocuous. It would essentially limit the amount of money the government can collect from taxpayers based on how much it collected the previous year, adjusted for inflation and population growth. Any surplus the state collects would go toward reducing property taxes. But in practice, the measure would lock Washington into its current budget—the worst budget the state has had in decades, owing to the recession—and prevent the budget from expanding when the economy improves. So the state at its leanest—like right now, with a budget requiring the state to lay off roughly 3,000 teachers and cut basic health services for 40,000 people—would become the most robust the state could ever be. A similar initiative in Colorado devastated the economy, the No On 1033 campaign points out.
In 1992, Colorado became the only state to cap revenue. Higher-education funding dropped 21 percent in four years, according to the Bell Action Network, a nonprofit research organization. The group also found the number of children without health insurance doubled and immunization programs for children were suspended—until voters put the law on hold for five years to let the state try to recover.
"It's clear that voters are savvy enough to see through opponents' threats, lies, and scare tactics on I-1033," Eyman said in a statement released today. "Voters are clearly rejecting their 'con' campaign and strongly supporting I-1033's policies of fiscal discipline and property tax relief. Voters understand that the private sector, not the public sector, creates the jobs that will drive Washington's economic recovery. Voters know that anything but an overwhelming 'yes' vote for I-1033 will be seen by politicians as the people's endorsement of higher taxes. Voters realize that I-1033 is their only opportunity for a break on their crushing property tax burden. Opponents certainly have the best 'con' campaign money can buy but apparently, voters aren't buyin' it.
Says Eyman: "We have faith in the common sense of the average taxpayer to see through opponents' threats, lies and scare tactics."