Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Initiative 1033 would cripple our ability to invest in infrastructure, just like Initiative 601

A decade and a half ago, the people of Washington State narrowly approved an initiative that was the precursor to two of Tim Eyman's most recent ballot measures: the blatantly unconstitutional Initiative 960 (also narrowly approved, in 2007) and this year's Initiative 1033, which is far more destructive.

As 1033 will if passed, I-601 restricted the state's ability to make smart investments in the infrastructure and services that Washingtonians rely on for the quality of life we've come to expect from living here.

The result of 601's passage was that Washington's common wealth didn't reap the benefits it should have from the tech boom of the late 1990s. When times were good, 601 prevented us from taking advantage of it. We missed out on almost a decade's worth of investment in our schools, our transit system, police and fire protection, and a list of other critical infrastructure as long as your arm.

It took the near-tragic Nisqually earthquake of 2001 to make people wake up and say "Oh, wait, maybe we do need the state to put some money into safe bridges, retrofitting buildings, and emergency preparedness."

Even then, it wasn't until after Democrats finally gained a majority in the state Legislature in the 2004 elections that I-601 was finally suspended.

No doubt the crack the quake caused in the dome on top of the Legislative Building in Olympia helped them make that sensible decision.

Don't get me wrong: I'm glad Puget Sound's bridges didn't collapse, like Minnesota's I-35W bridge did in 2007. I'm glad the viaduct didn't collapse, like the Cypress Street Viaduct in California did during the Loma Prieta quake of 1989.

I just hope that the lesson we learned from the biggest regional earthquake in fifty years - that infrastructure matters - hasn't been forgotten a short eight years later. Never forget, we dodged a bullet there.

Yet, this year Tim Eyman is loading the gun and pointing it at our heads again with Initiative 1033. I-1033 is a mistake, like Initiative 601 was, except I-1033 is worse. It cripples the state's ability to make smart investments in essential services and infrastructure, but unlike I-601, it also applies to cities and counties as well. Ever the optimist, I hope that Washington State will see economic good times once again. But if it passes, like I-601 before it, I-1033 will make it impossible to reap any benefits from those good times.

If good times come again, I-1033 will prevent us from making improvements to our schools, our fire departments, mass transit, or anything else that has become badly out of date and in need of repair since 1993.

I-1033 will make sure the benefits of good times to come go straight into the pockets of the wealthy and corporations.

We have been calling I-1033 "Tim Eyman's jobs killer". Actually, that's too kind by half. Eyman's latest initiative is a community killer. It ought to be called "M-1033," because that's what it is. A Mistake, with a capital-M.

The irony is, it's a mistake we made once before. Let's be smart enough not to make the same mistake twice, okay? Vote NO on Initiative 1033.


Blogger Steve Zemke said...

I-1033 is a wealth transfer scheme. It takes tax dollars paid by everyone and uses them to only pay property taxes for property owners. But not everyone owns property.

Initiative 1033 is a giant tax shift that hurts lower income citizens and mainly benefits those with lots of property.

Danny Westneat’s article in the Seattle Times says it all with his headline “I-1033 A Windfall for the Rich”

As Westneat says, Eyman
“...could have targeted his tax relief to help those who most need it. But he didn’t. This is the rotten core of his initiative.
Forget all the caterwauling about spending cuts. At its heart this is a massive giveaway to the rich that does little or nothing for the poor.”

A vote for I-1033 will help millionaires and corporations pay their property taxes at your expense. Vote No.

October 19, 2009 11:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home