This week’s Q&A: Tim Eyman on Initiative 1125

By | August 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

eymanThis week, I spoke with Tim Eyman on Initiative 1125. Eyman says it provides straightforward protections for toll revenues. Opponents say it blows a hole in transportation funding and is just bad policy. And the Office of Financial Management’s projections say it could jeopardize funding for some big-ticket projects.

Usually, Q&A conversations are limited to 15 minutes. This one went a bit longer — so when I talk to the opposition next week, I’ll give them an extra five minutes, too.

Q: First, what does this initiative do from your perspective?

Eyman: Biggest thing that the initiative does is that it follows up on last year’s initiative 1053. We did that last year, it was the fourth time the voters voted for the policy. It got 64 percent approval. That was about saying, if they’re going to raise taxes, it takes a two-thirds vote. If they’re going to increase a fee, they’ve got to take a legislative vote. It was the fourth time the voters had voted for these policies. It was just a long-standing debate and the voters said this is what we want unambiguously. During session, the transportation budget writers decided not to comply – they re-delegated the authority to set tolls right back to the Transportation Commission.

In theory, initiatives are good for two years. After two years, they can start monkeying with it. This is the first time I’d ever seen them sidestep a provision in an initiative within the two-year period. What 1125 does is the idea that it needs to be the Legislature that sets the tolls it can’t be the unelected bureaucrats at the state agency. (more…)

Group of lawmakers, education groups challenging two-thirds vote requirement

By | July 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

At the end of session, House Democrats voted on a bill to close tax loopholes to fund education. The bill got the majority of votes, but because it didn’t get a two-thirds supermajority, the bill failed. That raised plenty of speculation that the vote was the foundation of a lawsuit challenging the legality of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053, which requires any tax increase — even the closure of a tax exemption — to pass with a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate or a vote of the public.

Today, we learned that 12 House Democrats, along with education advocates and one former Supreme Court justice, are going ahead with that lawsuit. (Check out the link for more on the case and a copy of the legal complaint.)

Thursday Q&A: Tim Eyman on I-1033

By | October 8, 2009 | 1 Comments

For this week’s Thursday Q&A, I sat down with Tim Eyman, supporter of Initiative 1033. Below is the entire interview, unedited.

Want to hear what the other side has to say? Tune in next Thursday, when we’ll post what Mike Ragan of the Washington Education Association has to say…

Q: Tell me what I-1033 does in your own words.
Eyman: 1033 addresses two very big concerns that we’ve heard from our supporters over the years. One is the out of control property tax problem in our state and the fiscal roller coaster of state, counties and cities. What 1033 does is it says that the government can grow and it can grow at the same rate as the private sector grows at and if they want to get more tax revenue for that, then they have to go to voters and ask their permission. So that gets us off the fiscal roller coaster. When it comes to property taxes, the initiative says that if the government collects more money than is the cap that 1033 institutes that that excess money, first a fixed percentage goes into a rainy day fund, but above that has to be refunded to taxpayers via lower property tax.

What that does is addresses those two very real concerns – it lowers property tax burden not by reducing the size of government, but by controlling the growth.

The state, the counties and the cities are bigger now than they’ve ever been. They’re not as big as they had planned on being but they are still bigger than they were before and that’s because they got on the fiscal roller coaster. (more…)

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Want more info on I-1033? Watch the Seattle Times Editorial Board interviews

By | October 5, 2009 | 0 Comments

Last week, The Seattle Times Editorial Board interviewed supporters and opponents of I-1033. If you’ve seen the video voter guide and want more info, this is the perfect opportunity:

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Eyman’s property tax initiative clears first hurdle to ballot

By | July 10, 2009 | 0 Comments

Tim Eyman’s latest initiative — to limit property tax increases — has cleared its first hurdle: The Secretary of State’s Office has determined that the initiative did indeed get enough signatures to move on to the verification process.

Total signatures turned in: 315,444.

Of that, they need more than 75 percent, or more than 240,000 to be valid.

In an e-mail to the media and supporters, Eyman said he’s had a signature verification rate of around 83 percent in the past, so he’s confident they’ll have enough signatures to hit the ballot.

We’ll find out soon: The Secretary of State’s office will verify a sampling of more than 9,000 signatures. If they match signatures on file, they count and the initiative makes the ballot. Stay tuned.

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