Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Live Slogging Tony Romo's Inev... | Krugman on Obama »

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update on Eyman Day. Revenue Cap Passes Senate. Big.

posted by on November 29 at 20:32 PM


5 of Seattle’s 6 Senators voted against it:

Ken Jacobsen
Adam Kline
Jeanne Kohl-Wells
Ed Murray
and Joe McDermott.

Who’s missing? Sen. Margarita Prentice.

For all of today’s earlier Slog coverage of the special Eyman rim job session, go: here, here, and here.

I’ll Slog some thoughts about today’s Supermajority Democrats fiasco tomorrow.

RSS icon Comments


Hooray! We're totally fucked on funding!

California has been trying to dig itself out from the property tax hole of Prop 13 for years. Good to see we'll be following suit.

Posted by exelizabeth | November 29, 2007 10:30 PM

I am a Seattle liberal (hate Bush, vote for every school levy, believe in universal health care, etc) who happily voted for Tim Eyeman's 747. Before 747, the City of Seattle was raising property taxes by 6% every freakin' year--- totally unsustainable! As it is, under 747, my property taxes are going from $4k to $5k next year- and I live in a modest 1950's rambler in an unhip neighborhood. Can't imagine what my prop. taxes would be like if the City had been able to keep jacking them up by 6% year after year.

All the pols said the sky would fall when 747 passed, but guess what guys, it didn't! The City of Seattle's budget is bigger than ever-- 747 has not kept City spending down, know why, because taxes from new construction are not subject to 1% and Seattle has been bringing in revenues that exceed inflation, in spite of the 1%. Nevermind all the damn special levies they hit us up for. You guys who are screaming about how bad this all is should take a good, hard look at Seattle's budget-- there's a shitload of pork in there. Would love to get back to basics and forget all this goldplated crap. So, when a bad year hits us, maybe a small percentage of the crap will get cut (only to get reinstated later). Doesn't sound like such a bad thing to me. Cops and firefighters never get cut in Seattle-- in fact, they've been adding them like gangbusters since 747 passed. Bottom line: Seattle's budget has not shrunk at all under 747.

PS. I can't speak for how the smaller cities in Wa State have fared under 747, but funny thing is, they're the ones who whole-heartedly support 747. Can't imagine why liberals in Seattle, who are unaffected by the impacts of 747, would give a crap about the dumb-ass republicans in Wa State who don't even have the good sense to vote their own interest.

Posted by liberal,butnotstupidlkneejerk | November 29, 2007 11:45 PM

When are we going to go to war with dirty Tacoma trash?

Posted by Mr. Poe | November 30, 2007 3:25 AM


If there's all this pork in the city budget, why don't you work to pass an initiative to cut those programs, instead of the bass-ackwards way of setting property taxes below inflation?

Posted by MHD | November 30, 2007 7:23 AM

The pork gets passed because people go to the city council and whine about their their favorite cause and its need for revenue, and of course the councilmembers ears are tuned to the
the loud voices. It is their job to
listen and act.

I have never seen or heard anyone at a council meeting who has seriously questioned expenditures in the budget. At a budget of $2 Billion, one would surmise the city has some available
opportunities for cost cutting.

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | November 30, 2007 8:09 AM

And here I stand with a Margarita Prentice pen in my pocket (no, not a joke) ...

Sad that she didn't stand tall for Seattle.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 30, 2007 10:47 AM

@5 - let's cut police funds for your neighborhood then, sounds fair to me.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 30, 2007 10:49 AM

i can see validity on both sides. @7, when someone says they want spending cut, this is a standard reply: let's cut police, then, shall we? or fire? or close libraries? or close parks?

no one would ever choose those programs, though. what TE types usually want cut are social programs they disagree with. these include "welfare" and stuff like that.

i don't agree with that either, and it is a fair question to ask what they think should be cut.

but if the answer is to cut subsidies to business, such as $5 million gifts to condo developers, then i might agree cuts could be made. no?

Posted by infrequent | November 30, 2007 11:02 AM

Nah, I'm just being vindictive, @8.

My proposal is we find out what you care about the most and we get rid of those programs.

It's the perfect libertarian solution.

You can always hire someone to do that stuff, right?

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 30, 2007 11:28 AM

WILL Wrote:
"@5 - let's cut police funds for your neighborhood then, sounds fair to me."

Will, perhaps you might start considering more modest cuts.
Perhaps eliminating the Mayor's
portrait from all city signage, websites and his recorded voice
messages you receive when on
forever-hold with a city
department? Hardly essential city
services, don't you agree?
However we are paying for it.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | November 30, 2007 12:27 PM

will, that was funny. but jensen -- in an even more hilarious post -- proves my point. if we just cut spending on voice messages property taxes could be lowered! see!

no, jensen is probably right. but it does sound funny, as those particular programs cited probably don't account for that much of the budget.

Posted by infrequent | November 30, 2007 12:34 PM

No, let's just use your place as a city dump.

I'll spring for the Gertrude costume for JI to wear while you and he sit around the campfire.

You want a tax revolt? Let's kill everything that impacts you.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 30, 2007 1:13 PM

okay, whatever will. if you cannot tell, let me be clear: i do not agree with jensen. and you are really just coming off as an asshole now. me sit at the same campire as him? what, so everyone who criticizes you must complete agree with jensen?

despite that i don't agree with jensen, and his silly idea that cutting voice messages (among other things) would allow property taxes to held to the new proposed minimum, it is not an effective argument to suggest that jensen or tim would advocate police or fire services to be cut, or his place to be used as a land fill. that type of comment just closes the conversation immediately to no good end.

so, apparently, you cannot handle a little criticism or attempts at open dialog... whatever...

Posted by infrequent | November 30, 2007 1:41 PM

Infrequent, it might sound was done with tongue firmly planted in -cheek, however after I wrote it, I briefly wondered about the culture and practice of allocations and spending. The city budget has become very large, and I doubt any of the councilmembers or many of their staff have the capacity to review every department's budget proposal or audit a department's spending. In addition to land use and
public safety issues, it is the largest and perhaps the most publically ignored responsibility held by the city council and mayor's offices. That should be troublesome for all of us.

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | November 30, 2007 2:03 PM

jensen, while i don't agree completely with you, i did include the little parenthetical "among other things" as to not reduce your argument for the sake of mine.

and while i don't think it will account for much, this is where i do see your point (as i expressed in @8). spending should be controlled, and little things add up.

sometimes i think i'd be great if more specific tax would go towards more specific programs. this way, we'd know what we were cutting when we wanted to lower (or decrease the increase) of a specific tax. but so much is mixed together that TE can get away with this sort of thing.

because the idea that price is getting to high as it relates to property is valid. how many articles in the stranger are about condos being too expensive, and people being priced out of town?

when it comes from TE, however, the changes often are, or at least feel, regressive in nature. valid complaint, invalid solution.

Posted by infrequent | November 30, 2007 2:08 PM

too, not to.

Posted by infrequent | November 30, 2007 2:15 PM

I would suggest a major part of TE's appeal is simply due to the inconsistent and somewhat arbitrary nature of state and local taxation. Even the politicians are frustrated by the special session in Oly (we just paid for)and the behaviour exhibited. People and politicians like consistency and predictability(something McD's, Dick's Drive In and the old JP Patches show well understand/stood), and we can have both once we come to terms with understanding this fundamental issue.

It still doesn't absolve us from our responsibilites of keeping watch over what and how public funds are being utilized. Perhaps only the most naive among us might suggest all public expenditures have always been in the
public's interest, and I would suggest it has been our inability as the public or our politicians inability to speak up to criticize unwarranted expenditures that has added fuel to the fire.


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | November 30, 2007 3:11 PM

@17: A state income tax would be consistent and unambiguous, don't you think? Not to mention far more equitable than the combination of sales and property taxes.

Posted by Greg | November 30, 2007 4:01 PM

GREG Wrote:
"Not to mention far more equitable than the combination of sales and property taxes."

Greg, you are absolutely correct.

I had long opposed the idea of a state income tax, however I do agree the current methods of taxation are NOT equitable, NOT predictable NOR satisfactory to the needs of funding
services. We should have implemented a state income tax several decades ago
instead of relying on a system which treats those who can least afford it the same as those who can afford it many times over.

In addition, I suspect people's ideas on government spending and taxation would be dramatically different if they were invoiced and required to write a check each month to the state to fund their portion of taxes as opposed to having it deducted from their pay. We would see a great deal more public concern and oversight.

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | November 30, 2007 5:58 PM

Liberal shitstains like Will in Seattle, who whenever government expenditures are questioned respond with nonsense such as "let's cut police funds for your neighborhood then, sounds fair to me." remind me of nothing so much as the stupid republican shitstains who, when the Iraq war is questioned respond with nonsense such as the fatuous "if we're not fighting the terrorists in Iraq we'll be fighting them over here". Nice way to avoid a substantive argument and prove that you're a fuckhead with nothing to say who couldn't argue his way out of a wet paper bag, Will, keep up the good work.

Do we want to look at where the city's budget could be cut? How about the completely useless special election they called on whether or not to rebuild the viaduct. What was the cost of that clusterfuck? 3 million dollars or so? What about the South Lake Union Trolley, an expensive toy that does absolutely nothing that the existing bus service didn't already do. How much did that cost? A mere $50 million for a service that will be no faster and no more comfortable than the existing bus service (but that's OK because it runs on rails and anything that runs on rails, regardless of how stupid or expensive is really cool according to a lot of dipshits in Seattle).

We have the mayor's very dramatic crackdown on Seattle's nightlife. How much is that costing? How much is the city paying out in lawsuits against the SPD? How much are we paying Tom Carr to issue subpoenas to the Seattle Times for reporter's sources?

It's nearly goddamned impossible to get city departments to stop doing stupid shit (the nightlife crackdown) and it's nearly goddamned impossible for the average citizen to do something against the concerted efforts of special interest groups to siphon off government money for their own purposes. One thing that the average citizen can do then is throttle the amount of money that the government is taking from them. It's a crude tool, kind of like using a choke chain on a dog, but sometimes a choke chain is what you need to get Fido's attention.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | November 30, 2007 7:01 PM

From: Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor

All credit for what happened in Olympia yesterday goes to the citizens.

Voter pressure put on legislators over the past three weeks (and frankly over the past 10 years) made the difference. Nothing like having 5 state supreme justices calling the people stupid to motivate and galvinize the support of the 58% of the people who approved I-747 (and a whole lot of the 42% who voted no but who have come to rely on its taxpayer protections). It was a huge 200,000 vote margin. Under the court's theory, then, 100,000 voters voted yes, but 'mistakenly' voted yes (because of some magical hypnotism or voodoo, i suppose) when they would have voted no if only they had known 'the truth'. Unbelievably absurd.

As for Adam Kline, he is fantastic. The media loves conflict and he and I provide lots of it. But the reality is that when he looks at me, he gets angry because he sees himself. Same aggressiveness, bombacity, and media whorishness. Different political philosophy, sure (he wants government to have 100% of taxpayers' paychecks), but the tactics are identical. No, don't think for a second that I don't like and appreciate him and accept him as he is. What's not to admire about his aggressiveness and yes, rudeness -- civility is overrated. He believes in what he's doing and he's working the press to get his message to the people. It's the challenge we all face when dealing with a manytimes lazy press.

The problem is that his philosophy didn't have the support of the people (58%), his colleagues in the state house (91%) nor his colleagues in the senate (81%). Every Republican and probably 80% of elected Democrats, including tax-hiking Democrat Gregoire, voted against his philosophy.

I didn't call the special session, Democrat Governor Gregoire did. I didn't write the bill, his Democrat colleagues did. I didn't vote for their bill, his Democrat colleagues did. He called me names, but the reality is he really wanted to call Gregoire and his Democrat colleagues those names but that'd hurt his own party so he does some gratuitous Eyman-bashing to try to keep the D's base energized. Not a bad strategy if you think your base is stupid and won't recognize the hollowness of his tactic. But again, he's playing with the cards he's been dealt and making the best of it.

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-747 co-sponsor | November 30, 2007 11:45 PM

Thanks, dipshit. Thanks a lot.

Posted by Greg | December 1, 2007 10:52 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).