Initiative 1033, offered by Tim Eyman, would lock Washington State, its cities, and its counties into using its most perilous budgets well into the future. The initiative does not take into account that tax revenues were drastically lower this year due to a deep recession. Tax revenues wouldn’t be able to grow faster than inflation and population growth, which means that I-1033 calls for putting government into a permanent deep recession. It’s a wonky topic, and the initiative’s populist appeal could result serious harm to our state. Let your friends and neighbors know about the great harm that I-1033 could have on our community.
Beyond the obvious implications on education, health services, police forces, fire departments, and other vital services of the state, this initiative could create an environment where rational investments in transportation and transit are skipped in favor of covering whatever basics the state could afford. (If any.) And governments starved for revenue are going to be much less likely to create new revenue sources for transit investments — all revenue sources may be needed to fund basic services.
Both candidates for King County Executive — Dow Constantine and Susan Hutchison — have found common ground in rejection I-1033. Both candidates for Seattle mayor are against it. All candidates for Seattle City Council are against I-1033 as well.
A government must be nimble and have its ability to function uninhibited by the short-term politics of resentment. Initiative 1033 should be rejected.
Our editorial board is Martin H. Duke, Ben Schiendelman, and John Jensen, with valued input from the rest of the staff. Read our Seattle City Council and King County Executive endorsements and our endorsement for Seattle Mayor.