$107,000 for 6 advisory votes in Clark County – Secretary of State revises cost for 5 statewide tax advisory votes: $120,000
From yesterday’s Columbian: The six additional ballot measures will cost the county $107,000. “It’s a small price to pay to get the pulse of the people,” said Commissioner Steve Stuart, who used to work for a market research firm. “This is relatively inexpensive for the response we’ll get. It’s a bargain.”
And he’s the liberal on the county council! The two conservatives were just as supportive: Commissioner Tom Mielke said “I feel really good going to the people.” Commissioner David Madore said “For so long, we’ve been told we can’t vote, it’s not our jurisdiction. We have some healing to do in our community,” Madore said. “Let the people speak.” http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/aug/05/county-puts-advisory-votes-on-ballot/
This year, the Legislature imposed 5 tax increases that will cost taxpayers $877 million. Thanks to voters approval of Initiative 960 in 2007 and reaffirmed by voters with I-1185 in 2012, there will be a public vote in November on each tax increase: Advisory Vote #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7.
The Secretary of State originally reported that these 5 statewide tax advisory votes will cost $240,000. They have since consolidated the legislators’ tax votes and contact information into a more user-friendly format in the voters pamphlet while reducing by half the number of pages needed (from 20 pages to 10). That has “halved” the cost: $120,000 for 5 tax advisory votes.
So the cost is $120,000 — here are the benefits:
1) The voters learn which taxes were increased
2) How much they’ll cost
3) Identify which legislators voted yay and nay
4) Let the people express their support or opposition to each tax increase
5) Inexpensive way to provide legislators with public feedback, especially when they slap an emergency clause on the bill, making it immune to citizen referendum
6) The 2 tax advisory votes in 2012 helped voters express an even clearer no-tax-increase message which the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus cited
7) Helps the voters identify tax-averse (Jan Angel) and tax-happy (Sen. Nathan Schlichter) legislators when making election choices.
The benefits of tax advisory votes far outweigh the costs, just like the advisory votes in Clark County. We echo what Councilmember Stuart said about advisory votes: “It’s a small price to pay to get the pulse of the people. This is relatively inexpensive for the response we’ll get. It’s a bargain.” We agree with Councilmember Madore: “Let the people speak.”
We’re moving full steam ahead on our new initiative: LET THE VOTERS DECIDE ON A 2/3-FOR-TAXES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Our measure ensures permanent protection from Olympia’s propensity to raise taxes.