Property Tax Fairness Initiative I-1550: here’s what we accomplished

by | Jul 7, 2017

No income tax.  No capital gains tax.  No carbon tax.  No business taxes.  And despite an all-out effort by local governments and their lobbyists, the 1% property tax cap on local governments survived.

          The Property Tax Fairness Initiative I-1550 had a huge impact on all those accomplishments this year.  We would not have been as successful as we were without it.

          In the past 20 years, thanks to all of you, we’ve succeeded at collecting enough signatures to get 16 statewide initiatives on the ballot for a public vote.  Voters passed 10 of them.  Directly, our tax initiatives have saved taxpayers $35.85 billion.  The overwhelming approval of our numerous 2/3 initiatives (Initiatives 960, 1053, 1185, and 1366) over the past 10 years has stopped tens of billions in higher taxes.  That’s an extraordinary track record that we’re very proud of.

          But the Property Tax Fairness Initiative I-1550 didn’t qualify (today is the deadline for signatures).  There’s several reasons for that:

*  First and foremost, initiatives are extraordinarily difficult — too many folks forget that.   Because we’ve succeeded so often with our initiatives over the years, we’ve made it seem easy — it’s not — it’s really hard.    

*  We were probably one year too early.  Property taxes are about to go through the roof.  We will certainly circle back to property taxes very soon.

*  All anyone is talking about this year are their skyrocketing car tab taxes and how badly Sound Transit deceived us.  We’ve been buried in phone calls, letters, and emails asking us/begging us to bring back our $30 car tabs.  Pouring gasoline on the fire is the arrogant decision by Democrats in Olympia to block all GOP bills that will actually fix the problem.  

         I’m a glass-is-half-full-guy.  Always have been.  I firmly believe that all of our initiatives, including this year’s Property Tax Fairness Initiative, are successes because they remind politicians that they ain’t the only game in town.  That the people have choices and options other than bowing down and kissing the rings of politicians to enact legislative changes.  The initiative process is incredibly hard, brutally difficult, and extraordinarily challenging — but that’s exactly why I love it so much.  

         “It’s supposed to hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  It’s the hard that makes it great.”  Womens Baseball Coach Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) in the movie League of Their Own (

         Don’t get me wrong — who we elect is critically important.  The senate race in the 45th district between pro-income-tax Democrat Manka Dhingra (appropriately shown on the left) and anti-income-tax Jinyoung Englund (on the right) is critically important.   

         But in my view, initiatives are the most effective way to make a real difference in politics.  And that’s why we’re going to continue to do them.    

          Ever since last November’s election, we’ve all worked really hard to send a clear no-new-taxes message to lawmakers.  Working together, we’ve made a real difference this year.  Jack, Mike, and I want to thank all of you for your tremendous effort.  Your hundreds of emails to legislators week after week had a huge impact.  This victory is your victory. 

© 2020 Permanent Offense


© 2020 Permanent Offense