Wenatchee mayor whines about our property tax cap initiative: “… we’re just taking the 1% which is all we’re allowed to take under the Eyman initiative.”
The way he said that was wrong is so many ways — here they are.
Thurs, Nov 17, 2022
KPQ radio news story:
The City of Wenatchee is increasing property taxes by 1% next year.
The city council voted unanimously last Thursday to impose the increase.
Mayor Frank Kuntz says the levy boost won’t keep up with inflation in covering city costs, but it’s the most that can be done with property taxes.
“I think the simple part of this is we’re just taking the 1% plus construction, which is all that we’re allowed to take under the Eyman Initiative in terms of increases,” said Kuntz. “Obviously, cost to net government is going up faster than one-percent, but our property tax is limited to that.”
The property tax increase is part of an overall budget for 2023 that the Wenatchee City Council will look at this Thursday.
The Eyman initiative has been in place since 2001. It reduced the overall percentage any government in Washington could raise property taxes annually from 6% to 1%. The 1% does not directly apply to the tax rate of an individual property, but caps the overall rate a government, such as the City of Wenatchee, can raise property taxes.
This limit does not apply to taxes from voter-approved bonds and special levies. Wenatchee had a bond levy for the past two decades, but in expired in the last year.
Some Washington cities hike property taxes by the 1% limit every year. Wenatchee hasn’t done so since 2016. Last year’s increase was a fraction of the maximum allowed.
Tim Eyman authored the 1% initiative. He defended the measure in a conversation with KPQ News.
“It’s working,” said Eyman. “It’s putting limits on how much people pay in property taxes. It’s a good thing. And if he (Mayor Kuntz) wanted more money, he could ask the voters for permission.”
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It was a vicious campaign to pass Initiative 747 in 2001 (voters were voting on it just a few months after 9-11). These cartoons give you a taste of what it was like:
Despite being radically outspent, 58% of the voters passed it.
So it’s not “the Eyman initiative”, it’s the voters initiative.
And it’s still the law today 21 years later.
And by capping property tax increases (telling governments they couldn’t raise them 6% per year, only 1% per year), it has saved taxpayers $20.3 billion over the past 21 years.
Prior to I-747, state government raised property taxes 6% per year. Counties raised them 6% per year. Cities 6% per year. Fire / library / park / cemetery districts 6% per year.
Now the max they can raise them is 1%.
It is the new normal.
And it’s not because of Tim Eyman, it’s because the voters demanded it.
That’s the power of the initiative process and that’s why I revere it, utilize it, and offer it to voters every chance I can.
That’s why Bob Ferguson is working so hard to try to stop me/us.
Please support my legal defense fund so Richard can appeal this absurd ruling so this NEVER happens to anyone else and so I can continue to do what I was born to do.
Please donate today:
With your help, I will keep fighting for the people across our nation with initiatives, lawsuits, lobbying, and helping elect more freedom-loving elected officials.
And now a message from Larry Jensen & Sid Maietto:
We’re asking folks to donate to our PAC so we can keep fighting for taxpayers with Jim Walsh’s initiative I-1491, the STOP ALL INCOME TAXES INITIATIVE.
The taxpayers of Washington need our help now more than ever. Donate to our political committee so we can keep fighting for you:
Mail your check — made payable to “Permanent Offense I-1491” — to: Permanent Offense, PO Box 6151, Olympia, WA, 98507
Or donate online: PermanentOffense.com
Sid Maietto & Larry Jensen
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Larry, Tim, & Sid
P.S. Again, please donate to my legal defense fund today:
Mail-in donation: Tim Eyman Legal Defense Fund, 500 106th Ave NE #709, Bellevue, WA, 98004
Or donate online:
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