Legislators’ per diems cost more than all 5 tax advisory votes

by | Aug 5, 2013

From the Columbian:   During both special sessions, state lawmakers accepted more than $256,000 in per diems.  http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/aug/02/moeller-led-local-group-in-per-diem (Senate $111,960 + House $144,747 = $256,707)

         What is the benefit of per diems?  Politicians get paid extra for finishing late.

         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 reported that these 5 tax advisory votes will cost $240,000.  

         What 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 (see below).

        The benefits of tax advisory votes far outweigh the costs.  And they certainly provide a greater benefit to the taxpayers than paying politicians an extra $256,707 for finishing late.


        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.