Local governments swimming in revenue even with 1% property tax cap – STOP WHINING!
Last week, we reported King County got an explosive 8% increase in its general fund. This, despite the fact that voters and the Legislature imposed a 1% property tax cap (voters in 2001, the Legislature in 2007).
But it turns out, it’s not just King County swimming in revenue.
Snohomish county’s general fund grew 3.45% even with the 1% cap (2016 budget $230 million, 2017 $239 million). And that explosive growth is despite county voters saying no to a sales tax increase at the ballot box a few months ago.
Pierce county’s general fund grew 3.75% even with the property tax cap (2016 budget $288 million, 2017 $299 million). Despite this explosive growth, Democrats on the county council are shamelessly trying to raise the already oppressive sales tax next week. Why the rush? They want to raise sales taxes before Sound Transit’s sales tax increase kicks in this January.
The city of Seattle’s general fund grew 4.1% even while the 1% cap was law (2016 was $1.15 billion, 2017 $1.19 billion).
Yet politicians from all these local governments held a press conference several weeks ago whining about the 1% property tax cap. King County’s Dow Constantine cried like a little girl, telling the Seattle Times “The Legislature is starving local government”.
Gimmee a break!! They’re swimming in tax revenue even as working families continue to struggle. There’s simply no public support for getting rid of the 1% property tax cap that has protected taxpayers for the past 15 years.
Name me a taxpayer who actually supports giving politicians the power to unilaterally jack up property taxes without a vote of the people?
Any time any government wants more money, this law allows them to go to voters and ask for more. SO STOP YOUR WHINING!!
The 1% cap is doing exactly what the voters/the Legislature/Governor Gregoire intended: putting a limit on the growth of property taxes while including the safety valve of voter approval for more.
If politicians take away the 1% cap, a Prop 13 initiative will surely follow which will cut property taxes and limit their growth even more. Voters don’t like being dissed and disrespected.
You can count on us to fight against state and local government’s insatiable tax appetite. The voters’ passage of our Initiative 1366 last year certainly shows that the people are in no mood for any tax hikes, let alone increases next year totaling $3.5 billion.
Petitions for “We Love Our Cars” I-869 have been sent out (if you need more, just email or call). Our polling shows it’s another big winner. Please help us make it a reality.