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Eyman: Poll shows I-1033 passing 61-31

Post by Joe Turner on Sep. 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm with 14 Comments »
September 29, 2009 2:56 pm

Tim Eyman, prime sponsor of Initiative 1033, which would limit the growth of tax collections for cities, counties and the state, says a Sept. 22 poll shows 61 percent of likely voters favor his ballot measure.
Eyman

September 29, 2009

To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc’d to the media, house & senate members, and Governor)

From: Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, Mike Fagan, co-sponsors of the Lower Property Taxes Initiative I-1033

RE: Poll by Rasmussen Reports on I-1033: 61% yes, 31% no, 8% undecided (remember, those undecided’s gotta go somewhere)

It’s clear that voters are rejecting the multi-million-dollar, Washington-DC-funded “con” campaign by opponents of I-1033 — the initiative leads by 30 points with just a few weeks left to go. The poll by Rasmussen Reports, taken on September 22nd, shows support at 61% yes, 31% no, 8% undecided. Here’s what 500 likely voters were asked:

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?

21% Definitely favor
40% Probably favor
17% Probably oppose
14% Definitely oppose
8% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/ 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

VARIOUS DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWNS (CALLED “CROSSTABS”) ARE ATTACHED — THERE’S SOME REALLY FASCINATING RESULTS THERE.

Just to show how accurate Rasmussen is with their polling, their results on Initiative 960 two years ago perfectly predicted the measure’s election outcome (51%-49%). Here’s the results of their September 26, 2007 poll among 500 likely voters: 51% yes, 39% no, 9% not sure (18% definitely favor, 33% probably favor, 22% probably oppose, 17% definitely oppose). Despite opponents spending $1.3 million over the subsequent weeks saying I-960 was ‘just like Colorado’s TABOR’, the numbers didn’t move an inch. With I-1033 starting 10 points higher (61% versus 51%), we’re feeling really good about I-1033’s prospects with voters in November.

It’s clear that voters are savvy enough to see through opponents’ threats, lies, and scare tactics on I-1033. 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.

We have faith in the common sense of the average taxpayer to see through opponents’ threats, lies and scare tactics.

Yesterday (Monday, September 28th), opponents reached $889,455.80, snagging the lion’s share of their dirty money from Washington DC’s public employee unions ($100,000 from WA DC’s AFSCME, $100,000 from WA DC’s SEIU, $78,600 from WA DC’s NEA, $112,500 from the Washington Council of County and City Employees). Opponents will get $2 million from Washington DC and are getting $1 million from Washington state’s public employee unions. $3 million to oppose I-1033, the lion’s share from public employee unions (if we ever got even a fraction of this amount from outside the state, it would be considered scandalous). Frankly, the members of these unions are not being well-served by their leaders because their leaders consistently ignore the fact that their members are taxpayers just like everyone else — they need and deserve property tax relief, they’re constantly getting screwed over by politicians creating unsustainable budgets and the fiscal roller coaster. There’s a whole lot of public employee union members who will enthusiastically vote for I-1033 in November.

Interestingly, the poll by Rasmussen Reports tracks very closely to a recent poll conducted by I-1033’s opponents which shows I-1033’s support at 58%. With some heavy-handed “push polling”, they got it down to 51% (a member of their coalition reported the poll’s results to us).

And Stuart Elway’s polling, which has consistently understated the level of voter support our measures get on election day, shows I-1033 leading by 24 points. His September poll shows I-1033 at 46% yes, 22% no, 32% undecided (again, those undecided’s gotta go somewhere).

I-1033 is, by far, our most needed and most popular initiative to date. I-1033 brings back I-601’s fiscal discipline, gets government off the fiscal roller coaster by allowing sustainable growth, maintains I-601’s safety valve allowing faster government growth with voter approval, and provides a long-overdue reduction in our state’s crushing property tax burden.

Most persuasive of all: our opponents have no alternative. No alternative way to lower property taxes, no alternative way to get government off the fiscal roller coaster, no alternative way to stop politicians from unilaterally increasing taxes and fees which would only hurt our economy and extend the recession. All of the opponents of I-1033 want higher taxes. They all want a state income tax. I-1033’s opponents think that Washington’s citizens are UNDERTAXED?!!? Opponents are against I-1033 because it lets the people, and not the politicians, decide how fast government will grow and how big a tax burden we can afford.

We’re very proud of the 315,000 citizens who signed I-1033’s petitions. We believe they spoke for the majority of Washington’s voters and support I-1033’s renewal of I-601, I-1033’s reduction in property taxes, and I-1033’s empowerment of the citizens to decide how fast the government should grow and how big a tax burden we can afford.

FULL STEAM AHEAD!

Best Regards, Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan

Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. I’m all for property tax relief, but not as done in this ref. It should be for the primary residence of a homeowner, and nothing for businesses. Why should vacation homes qualify? Those with lots of property will make out like bandits, those without will likely suffer from reduced government services.

    I’d really like to see some numbers on how much property taxes will go down with this bill. I bet the reduction will be minimal at best given the value of all the property in the state. The lack of any sort of numbers from the Eyeman campaign is telling. So Tim how much of a reduction in PT will an average homeowner with a $400,000 home see as a result of this bill? Bet you don’t have any idea and will do all you can to avoid answering this question.

  2. timeyman says:

    response to bofus:

    around 10-20% reduction in property taxes for property owners. depends on how much excess tax revenues are imposed and collected above I-1033’s cap, but based on the state budget office’s numbers 10-20% per year is a fair estimate

    you were concerned that I-1033 reduces property taxes for everyone — that’s the only way that is constitutional. We have the uniformity clause in our state Constitution which requires treatment to be equal to all — both residential and commercial property. that means if politicians wanna raise property taxes, they’ve gotta impose them uniformly on everyone — if a measure tries to reduce property taxes, they’ve gotta reduce them uniformly for everyone.

    we did an initiative that tried to reduce property taxes differently, depending on the type of property, and the court overturned it.

    so there’s no other way to reduce property taxes but to do so uniformly.

    This, by the way, isn’t a bad thing — it puts us all in the same boat and doesn’t allow the government to squeeze extra tax money out by going with a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy.

    Uniform property tax relief for everyone. That’s fair, that’s reasonable, that’s what 315,000 voters signed on to, and that’s what 61% of likely voters say is a better way to go.

    http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

  3. Thanks Tim for answering my question, I appreciate that. 10% for me would be about $350 bucks in savings. That is not enough to buy my vote. I still don’t like the idea that those with vacation homes, investment properties and the like will be benefiting the most from this ref. You see that as fair, I see it as a windfall for a small segment of the population.

    So I save $350 and Paul Allen pockets, what millions? And at what cost to the citizens of the state that will likely lose more services as a result of budget cutbacks? No thanks.

  4. hellomouthbreathers says:

    Isn’t this sort of tax manipulation what has put California on the brink?

  5. timeyman says:

    previous post wrote: Isn’t this sort of tax manipulation what has put California on the brink?

    response: not according to this:

    Coloradoan says tax-limiting initiative there has worked

    BARRY W. POULSON / THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

    Opponents of Washington’s Initiative 1033 are woefully uninformed about the Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) passed by voters in 1992. Critics of Washington’s ballot measure say I-1033 is similar to our TABOR, which they claim is a disaster for our state. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The best way to appreciate the positive impact of TABOR in Colorado is to contrast our experience with California’s. The Golden State’s GANN Amendment, a precursor of TABOR, limited the growth of state revenue and spending to the sum of inflation and population growth. In the late 1980s, under pressure from the education employee lobby, the California legislature abandoned the GANN Amendment. The rest is history.

    Over the last two decades without GANN, state spending in California increased much more rapidly than personal income. To sustain the higher level of spending, taxes were increased to one of the highest levels in the country. Despite the higher tax burden, the state incurred a structural deficit that required even higher levels of debt. California created one of the worst business tax environments in the country. Business investment and jobs left the state for other states with better tax climates. Population left the state for other states with lower tax burdens. In short, California has experienced retardation in economic growth over the last 20 years.

    Shortly after California abandoned the GANN Amendment, Colorado voters passed TABOR. It also limits the rate of growth of state revenue and spending to the sum of inflation and population growth. Surplus revenue above the TABOR limit must be rebated to taxpayers. From 1997 to 2000 state revenue grew in excess of the TABOR limit, and the state rebated about $3.25 billion in surplus revenue to taxpayers.

    The TABOR Amendment has worked much the way it was intended, allowing Colorado citizens to decide how much government they want and are willing to pay for. If any jurisdiction wants to spend surplus revenue, or increase taxes or debt, it must have voter approval.

    Many statewide ballot measures have been presented to Colorado voters since TABOR was enacted. Two of the six ballot measures seeking approval to spend surplus revenue were passed, and four were defeated. Eight ballot measures proposing tax increases were introduced, but only one of these measures passed. Of the four property tax measures introduced, two providing property tax relief to specific groups passed; two measures proposing property tax increases were defeated.

    At the local level, however, many more spending or tax increases have been approved, usually because they were tied to specific local government programs to which the voters decided to give extra funds.

    Critics often argue that TABOR forced the state to cut spending. The empirical record for state spending in Colorado refutes this claim. In contrast to California, state spending in Colorado has grown at roughly the rate in the private economy. From 1993 to 2007 real per capita state spending grew 28 percent, while per capita GDP grew 30 percent.

    With an effective tax and spending limit in place Colorado has been able to lower tax burdens, creating one of the best business tax climates in the country. Colorado has attracted more business investment and jobs than most other states. Over the period since TABOR was passed Colorado has experienced one of the highest rates of economic growth in the nation, while California has experienced retardation in economic growth.

    As California citizens and businesses leave for other states, such as Colorado, the evidence is clear. States that impose an effective tax and spending limit, and that pursue prudent fiscal policies, create a better business tax climate compared to states that pursue profligate fiscal policies in the absence of effective tax and spending limits. Critics who argue that state spending should not be constrained by tax and spending limits are really arguing that government should grow more rapidly than the private sector.

    Polls reveal that Colorado citizens support the TABOR Amendment by a greater majority today than when it was enacted. Citizens support each of the TABOR provisions by a large majority: the cap on the growth of revenue and spending; the requirement for voter approval to spend surplus revenue; and the requirement for voter approval to increase taxes and debt.

    Despite this success, politicians and special interest groups routinely attack TABOR because it doesn’t give them carte blanche authority to tax and spend. Washington residents would be lucky to have our TABOR amendment. It strengthens fiscal rules and policies conducive to economic growth and prosperity, and prevents the kind of fiscal debacle occurring in California.

    Barry Poulson is a Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy at the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado.

  6. Hopefully this is another round of bad ideas that will get tossed out in court.

  7. If it works, I’m all for it! I was informed by three little birds that Gov. Skeletor (Chris Gregoire) is seriously debating to raise taxes after she said in her campaign that it would not happen. I just think our state’s government is WAY too big, way too liberal and there needs to be some checks and balances to it!

  8. I would be in favor of this initiative if it did not include sales tax revenue. it also does not include a provision for increased revenue due to commercial growth.

  9. Tim as usual is only telling you part of the story. The Legislature has the power to provide special property tax exemptions and has done so for low income seniors and disabled people.
    http://dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/Prop_Tax/SeniorExempt.pdf

    If Tim was concerned about seniors staying in their homes he would increase the Property Tax Exemption for seniors.

    But here’s another way also. Tim Eyman has said repeatedly that Homestead Exemptions and circuit breaker legislation are unconstitutional. That doesn’t make it so. It might be true if he wrote the legislation like the many initiatives of his that have been overturned by the Washington State Supreme Court. However like everything else, there are ways to draft legislation that would pass constitutional muster.

    Here’s one that would benefit both homeowners on their principal residence and small business owners. In the 2008 Legislative session HB 3162 was introduced with 24 sponsors. HR 3162 – Providing a property tax exemption for the first fifty thousand dollars of assessed value of commercial and residential real property.

    You can see the bill here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2007-08/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/3162.pdf

    The bill is short and the main text of interest here is:

    “(1) Residential property is exempt from the state portion of the
    property tax on fifty thousand dollars of assessed value.
    (2) A commercial property owner may apply to the county assessor to
    exempt fifty thousand dollars of assessed value for the state portion
    of the property tax for a single parcel of property.”

    Realize Tim is not looking for solutions to just help those most in need with their property taxes, he is trying to get voters to freeze state spending and spending by all 281 cities and 39 counties in the state and is using his property tax reduction scheme to get you to also swallow his wealth transfer scheme.

    This is the fatal flaw in I-1033. It takes sales tax dollars and other fees paid by everyone and gives it to just property owners. If you don’t own property you get nothing. You will still pay the same taxes as before.

    It just is plain wrong to tax people that have no property and use those taxes to pay taxes for wealthy property owners, like those who have vacation homes or shopping malls or real estate developers or corporate owners. This is a reverse Robin Hood scheme – tax the less well off and use the taxes to pay property taxes for the rich.

    I-1033 is a just another Eyman poorly thought out scheme that will hurt those who have the least already. Vote No on I-1033.

  10. Eyman’s Barry Poulson who he reprints above is from another right wing free maket think tank.

    Not a surprise that someone from the Independence Institute supports budget freeze legislation like Eyman’s 1033 and thinks it’s great. Their webpage labels them as “Colorado’s Free Market Think Tank.” They are another anti-tax, anti-government right wing organization rallying against representative democracy.

    They support the idea of stripping the power of our elected officials so they can’t make rational deliberative budget decisions for the public good without jumping through their arbitrary limits.

    Representative government has worked since we became a state. We are not in a fiscal crisis although we are in a recession. I-1033 will further limit the ability of our elected officials to act to get us out of the recession. Vote No on I-1033!

  11. Here are three reasons why Initiative 1033 should be voted down:

    INITIATIVE 1033 FREEZES STATE AND LOCAL SPENDING AT THE CURRENT LEVEL. It says that none of the cuts made in public services as a result of the current recession can be restored without a public vote. Public votes take time, cost money and allow politics and special interest money to influence the outcome.

    INITIATIVE 1033 IS A RADICAL SHIFT AWAY FROM REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT. It would take away the current power of our elected public representatives to make budget decisions and turns the process over to budgeting by referendum. It does this not just at the state level but also for all 39 counties and all 281 cities in our state. It is a blatant attempt to undercut efficient and deliberative government by Tim Eyman whose goal is to shrink the powers of representative government.

    INITIATIVE 1033 IS A COMPLEX WEALTH TRANSFER SCHEME. It would transfer sales tax dollars collected from everyone and use them to only pay property taxes for property owners. The problem is that not everyone owns property. This scheme increases the unfairness of our tax system. Renters will pay the same taxes as before under I-1033 but will both get no tax rebate and see no increased public services for their tax dollars.

    I-1033 is right wing legislation designed to hamstring government from operating efficiently. It is a complex wealth transfer scheme that benefits rich property owners. And it is not needed.

    There is no fiscal crisis demanding radical change of this nature. Initiative 1033 is a dream scheme by anti-government, anti-tax fanatic Tim Eyman and deserves a resounding NO vote this November. We don’t need to make our current recession permanent.

  12. Here’s my comment about Tim Eyeman – get a clue and get a real job.

  13. The conservative Tax Foundation ranks Washington State’s local and state tax burden in the BOTTOM THIRD OF ALL STATES. They rank Washington State as 35th (with 1 being the highest) in terms of state and local tax burden.
    You can check the results yourself here:
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr163.pdf

    Of course if you are trying to claim that Washington State’s taxes are obscene and unsustainable and out of control, 35th lowest is not a number you want to use. That’s why Eyman adds in our Federal income tax and says in the Voter’s Pamphlet that we are the eighth highest taxed state in the county.

    Of course he neglects to add two other facts. We are also the eighth highest state in terms of income per capita according to the Tax Foundation and the fact that I-1033 is not a Federal initiative and can do nothing to change Federal taxes.

    I-1033 only affects state and local taxes and does nothing to change sales taxes paid. We have the highest sales taxes in the country. The Tax Foundation says on property taxes we rank 25th. And remember we have no income tax unlike 43 other states.

    Eyman deals in hyperbole and stretching the truth. Forbes magazine has since retracted their ranking of 8th and the Tax Foundation figures Tim uses included Federal income taxes. Tim repeats his false comments over and over hoping that repeating something that’s not true over and over will somehow convince people it is true.

    Initiative 1033 is a complex measure and does a lot more than Tim says. It is not needed. No one likes to pay taxes but they are the price we pay to keep our communities livable. Washington State’s taxes rank in the bottom third regarding state and local tax burden per capita. Let’s not make things worse by further reducing public services and slowing down recovering from the recession. Vote No on I-1033.

  14. Voters will vote for what seems credible and unfortunately for Tim his dream scheme of freezing public spending so that sales tax dollars everyone pays can help property owners pay their property taxes is a wealth transfer system designed to mostly help the wealthy.

    Eyman does not rebate any taxes back to people in proportion to what they paid but in proportion to what they own as property. Renters will still pay the same taxes but will see no rebate of taxes back under I-1033. They will also see no new services their sales tax dollars might have paid for if I-1033 wasn’t there.

    Tim won’t tell you that some 40% of his rebates will go to pay commercial property taxes even though businesses have a sales tax exemption and don’t pay sales taxes on goods they resell. The consumer pays them.

    Last year some 57% of state revenue came from sales taxes. Senior citizens and working families that don’t own property will still pay the same amount of taxes under I-1033. In a reverse Robin Hood wealth transfer scheme these taxes will help wealthy individuals and businesses pay their property taxes.

    Eyman says this is more important than restoring any services lost during the recession and more important than more funding for education or home health care for seniors or more police or fire protection or more road or bridge repair or new schools or anything else.

    Voters will vote for what seems credible and unfortunately for Tim his dream scheme of freezing public spending so that sales tax dollars everyone pays can help property owners pay their property taxes is a wealth transfer system designed to mostly help the wealthy.

    Eyman does not rebate any taxes back to people in proportion to what they paid but in proportion to what they own as property. Renters will still pay the same taxes but will see no rebate of taxes back under I-1033. They will also see no new services their sales tax dollars might have paid for if I-1033 wasn’t there.

    Tim won’t tell you that some 40% of his rebates will go to pay commercial property taxes even though businesses have a sales tax exemption and don’t pay sales taxes on goods they resell. The consumer pays them.

    Last year some 57% of state revenue came from sales taxes. Senior citizens and working families that don’t own property will still pay the same amount of taxes under I-1033. In a reverse Robin Hood wealth transfer scheme these taxes will help wealthy individuals and businesses pay their property taxes.

    Eyman says this is more important than restoring any services lost during the recession and more important than more funding for education or home health care for seniors or more police or fire protection or more road or bridge repair or new schools or anything else.

    Vote No on I-1033. Keep Tim Eyman’s hands out of your pockets.

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