Bill to hike property taxes disappears – HUGE VICTORY FOR TAXPAYERS

by | May 27, 2015

Prior to 2001, each government could raise property taxes 6% per year.  So state government raised your property taxes 6%, counties 6%, cities 6%, ports 6%, fire districts 6%, library districts 6%, park districts 6%.  Those 6%’s compounded EVERY SINGLE YEAR and property taxes skyrocketed.  

        In 2001, we sponsored Initiative 747 and it changed those 6%’s to 1%’s.  So state government could only raise property taxes 1% per year, counties 1%, etc.  To raise property taxes more required voter approval.  

       From 2001 through 2015, this taxpayer protection has saved taxpayers $11.2 billion.

       2 weeks ago, we told you about a brand new bill introduced in Olympia that would have gotten rid of the 1% limit and replaced it with 5%.  So it would have given state and local governments the power to impose a 5-fold increase in property tax increases.

        It was terrifying.  

        But all of you reacted and pounded the legislators sponsoring that bill … into submission as it turns out:

After conservative pushback, tax proposal disappears

By Joseph O’Sullivan, Seattle Times, May 24, 2015

OLYMPIA — Big-idea revenue proposals this year have come and gone, attracting momentary attention before drifting away as state lawmakers focus on what they think could gain enough votes to pass.

But last week, one recently introduced proposal actually, formally disappeared.

House Bill 2255, which would have lifted the 1 percent cap on property-tax levies, was sponsored by Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland. While Haler said the bill’s intent was to lift the local tax cap, the proposal would also have lifted the state property tax cap.  Had it been enacted, it could have eventually resulted in hundreds of millions more dollars in state property taxes per year, according to state estimates.

But after immediate criticism from conservatives, Haler removed his name from the bill, and the two co-sponsors declined to sign on as the main sponsors, according to Barbara Baker, chief clerk of the state House.  So the bill was pulled Wednesday, meaning it no longer exists.

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         What a fantastic taxpayer victory! 

         And it’s all because of you and your activism.  Your reaction to this bill killed this bill.  

         A 5-fold increase in property tax increases would have been devastating for taxpayers.  Massive increases in property taxes would have meant skyrocketing house payments, skyrocketing rent payments, and skyrocketing commercial lease payments (meaning higher prices for most everything you buy).

         Killing that bill was a great victory — but it was temporary.  The only way to ensure permanent protection from Olympia’s insatiable tax appetite is by helping us get the 2/3-For-Taxes Constitutional Amendment Initiative on the ballot. 

          Success is the only option with the signature drive for I-1366.  Please help us make it happen.