Tuesday, November 20, 2007

1% Emergency?

Governor Gregiore has called for a special session of the Legislature to reinstate the 1% cap on property tax increases.

The Democratic Majority in the Washington State Legislature seems to be ready to go along with the Governors request:

House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, supports plans for a special session.
Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said the Senate is supportive of a much more comprehensive change to property tax code.

"The 1 percent limit has been in place for five years and there are still people out there who are struggling with property taxes," she said, adding that she would have preferred to wait to work on a more thorough process to set the right limit. "We are letting the governor take the lead on this."

Frankly I don't see the emergency. This is a tempest in a teapot and could easily wait to be addressed during the regular session of the Legislature. In spite of what the lying dogs Republicans say, Democrats do not live to raise taxes.

The State Supreme Court said voters were misled about the impact on existing law. However, it was a close decision with four dissenting Justices saying the voters weren't misled or confused.

I don't like the idea of having the '1% property tax increase cap' rushed through the Legislature. My preference would be to send this back to the voters. It should go to the voters with a clear explanation of the law and unbiased information about the ramifications. Then the voters can decide if they want to put an absolute 1% cap on property tax increases, understanding that they also would have to stop whining about all the things "the Government" isn't doing/fixing because there aren't enough funds in the State treasury.

I want the anti-tax, "government-is-always-bad" people who clamour for arbitrary inflexible limits on taxes, instead of a reasoned discussion of state policies and goals, to own the ramifications. No blaming "the government" for grid-lock when there isn't enough money to build new hiways or rapid transit. No blaming "the government" when there's no funds to hire more police to keep tabs on sex-offenders. No blaming "the government" when a sink hole swallows your Hummer.

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