Burien City Council members sharply rebuked Initiative 1033 at their meeting Monday night (Oct. 5th) and voted 3-1 to oppose the tax-limitation measure that appears on the November ballot.
Mayor Joan McGilton and Councilwomen Kathy Keene and Lucy Krakowiak voted to oppose I-1033. Councilman Gordon Shaw voted no. Although he offered no comment before casting his vote at this weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s meeting, Shaw spoke in support of I-1033 at their Sept. 28 session.
Deputy Mayor Sue Blazak and Councilwomen Rose Clark and Sally Nelson were absent.
According to the ballot measure summary, I-1033:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“…would limit growth in state revenues Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ and limit growth in county and city revenues. The limit would be adjusted based on annual growth in inflation and populationÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. The limit would exclude voter-approved revenue increases. Revenues above the limit would reduce property tax levies.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m very concerned,Ã¢â‚¬Â McGilton said in reference to I-1033.
Keene said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This initiative raises grave concerns for me, not only because of what it will do to our city but what it will do to the school district, the county and the stateÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ill conceived in my humble opinion. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be some draconian cuts on all sidesÃ¢â‚¬Â if I-1033 passes.
She added that while Ã¢â‚¬Å“proponents say it eliminates waste in city government, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see the waste that those who havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t read the (city) budget see in it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Tim Eyman, the primary sponsor of I-1033, the latest in a series of statewide tax-limitation initiatives he has placed before Washington voters, disagreed with the opposing arguments.
I-1033 is intended to produce greater Ã¢â‚¬Å“fiscal disciplineÃ¢â‚¬Â on the part of local and state governments, he told The B-Town Blog. Ã¢â‚¬Å“TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to have it nowÃ¢â‚¬Â in the midst of the current recession. Ã¢â‚¬Å“NowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the most critical time, and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re arguing that this is the worst time.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The only way they can take more money (under this initiative) is to ask the peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s permission, not by making the economy worse by raising taxes.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Eyman added that if government thinks it has it tough in the current economy, government needs to remember what itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like to be a taxpayer. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Government is the most dangerous now because theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re thinking from their perspective. Desperately needed is fiscal discipline.Ã¢â‚¬Â