UPDATE: Burien Wants Its Citizens To Share Their Thoughts On Initiative 1033 On Mon., Sept. 28th 3UPDATE 9/9/09: The schedule for public input on the city’s response to Initiative No. 1033 has changed: The Burien City Council will hear Pro and Con statements on Sept. 14th, then discuss it on Sept. 28th and consider a resolution on Oct. 5th.

PREVIOUSLY: The City of Burien is seeking public input at 7pm on Monday, Sept. 28th Monday, Sept. 14th considering a resolution regarding Initiative Measure No. 1033, the Tim Eyman-sponsored measure that 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.”

Voters will choose to approve or deny this initiative on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.

Opponents call 1033 the “Jobs Killing” Initiative because they allege it will cause thousands of public servants to be laid off from their jobs.

The City of Burien wants to know what its citizens think of this, pro or con, and are inviting all to come speak up at a public meeting on Monday, Sept. 14 28th, at 7pm. The meeting will be held at Burien City Hall, 400 SW 152nd Street, 1st Floor.

According to the description prepared by the Washington Secretary of State:

This measure would limit growth in state revenues deposited in funds subject to the state expenditure limit, and limit growth in county and city revenues deposited into the county and city current expense funds. The limit would be adjusted based on annual growth in inflation and population. The limit also would apply to revenues transferred out of these funds. The limit would exclude voter-approved revenue increases. Revenues above the limit would reduce property tax levies.

The “Voters Want More Choices” website argues “For” I-1033 with these arguments:

  • In the state of Washington, “property taxes are completely out-of-control” wiht “huge levy increases, skyrocketing valuation increases, massive rate hikes. It’s obscene and unsustainable. Struggling working families and fixed-income senior citizens are being taxed out of their homes.”
  • “We don’t want Washington to be a state where only rich people can afford to buy and own a home.”
  • “Citizens desperately need property tax relief, especially during these tough economic times.”
  • “The overall tax burden imposed by state government, counties, and cities is growing exponentially.”
  • Currently, “there is no cap, no ceiling, no lid, no maximum, no limit on how much they can take from us. There’s simply no way that citizens can afford to have government continue to grow at an uncontrolled rate.”
  • “The Lower Property Taxes Initiative I-1033 puts a reasonable cap on our overall tax burden, requiring excess tax revenues collected about the cap used to substantially reduce property tax bills.”

Arguments made “Against” I-1033 by its opponents include:

  • The concern that it could reduce critical public services at the state and local levels.
  • Arguing that the historical cost increase of public spending in areas such as health care and education has exceeded the consumer price index, opponents of I-1033 say that if I-1033 passes, spending in these areas will not be able to grow at the levels they have historically grown at.
  • The belief that government services will be reduced each year from the previous year.
  • It is problematic because “The initiative is designed to lock in all the budget cuts that state and municipal governments are currently making, thus potentially killing thousands of jobs in the years to come.”
  • “[T]his initiative is exact opposite of real reform. Instead of fixing what’s broken, it would make all of our lives worse. Much worse. We need real tax reform that improves stability and fairness in our tax system”.
  • “Property taxes already have strict limitations on growth and levels. The result of these has been particularly hard on local governments, who have limited ability to raise other taxes.”
  • “Shifting from the property tax to other tax sources makes our tax system less stable because property taxes are one of the least volatile revenue sources we have.”
  • “The reality is that the whole concept of contrived, artificial limits on revenue is completely unreasonable to begin with. In practice such limits have been utterly unworkable. Other states, like Colorado, have imposed them and seen their quality of life suffer drastically as a result.”

Here’s the official release from the Burien cityfolk:

CITIZENS INVITED TO SPEAK FOR OR AGAINST INITIATIVE MEASURE NO. 1033 CONCERNS STATE, COUNTY AND CITY REVENUE

The Burien City Council will be considering a resolution regarding Initiative Measure No. 1033 concerns state, county and city revenue, on September 28, 2009. All interested parties who are for or against the ballot measure are invited to speak at the Council Meeting on Monday, September 14, 2009, at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at Burien City Hall, 400 SW 152nd Street, 1st Floor.

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The City of Burien strives to provide alternate communication opportunities. Please contact the City Clerk’s office, 206/248-5504, twenty-four hours prior to the meeting for assistance.

This is a great opportunity to come share your thoughts with your elected officials, so be sure to mark you calendars for what will surely be a lively discussion.

To read I-1033 in its entirety, click here for a PDF.