Not a week goes by that we don’t read about more cuts in County or State services. As a result of declining tax revenues, we’ve seen County staff laid off and departments consolidated, local parks closed (here and here) and now sharp reductions in the budget of the Thurston County Sheriff are being contemplated.
Have you seen the petitioners around town for Tim Eyman’s latest initiative? According to Ballotopedia.org:
The Washington Lower Property Taxes Initiative, also known as I-1033, will be on the November 2009 ballot in Washington, if its sponsors can collect a minimum of 241,153 signatures of registered voters by 5:00 p.m. on July 3, 2009.
Opponents are declaring that I-1033 would present a significant blow to local government spending by imposing an artificial limit on government revenue and spending for critical services. Citizens already exert a great deal of control over property taxes, in the form of votes either for or against levies. In Thurston County, according to our Assessor’s Office, about 40 percent of the property taxes come from excess levies approved by a vote of the people.
At the present time, however, there is not organized opposition to I-1033.
Signatures for I-1033 were being gathered at Top Foods, a week or two ago. Did you sign the petition? A responsible citizen, when confronted with an opportunity to reduce government revenue, it stands to reason, will have some firm thoughts as to where matching expenditures should be cut. In the absence of a message from opponents of the initiative, common sense ought to step in.
Click here to see where your property taxes go. If you favor I-1033, which services, from the chart on this page, would you like to see cut? More than 57% of your property taxes go to education. A little over 20% go to cities, towns, and the County. More than 10% to fire districts and Medic One.
A recent tax levy that would support local library services was defeated. The result could be a reduction in library hours, reduced reference services, and a many fewer materials being purchased for our public library system.
Let’s give a little thought, as we head into the petition season, as to what we’re signing.
Click here to visit the web site of Tim Eyman’s organization.
If you favor I-1033, click on the “Comment” link, to leave comments regarding what services you would cut.