We’ve endorsed a No vote on Initiative 1033, which would place a cap on state, county, and city revenues.  Revenue raised by special tax districts is exempt, and while this may seem to minimize the direct impact on Sound Transit, I want to suggest that the overall severity of 1033’s limits would add up, holistically, to a major hit on all modes of transit statewide.

Sound Transit covers a lot of its own costs, but cities, counties, and the state all have roles in supporting the transportation infrastructure. The Budget and Policy Center has an excellent series of reports and blog posts on 1033, which includes several graphs on revenue loss among these jurisdictions, reproduced below the jump.

1033 exempts any federal money the state gets from eligible revenue, but it contains no such exemption for cities and counties.  (Similarly, state funds transferred to cities and counties would also be subject to the cap.)

It remains to be seen what the final interpretation will be if this thing gets passed, but note that the graphs above for cities and counties assume the more optimistic reading.  The numbers could in fact be more severe.

10 Replies to “More on I-1033”

  1. The same data are in the voter’s pamphlet in chart form, so luckily the voters don’t need to look around on the web for the information. Now, if they just read the voter’s pamphlet…

  2. I’m still unclear how I-1033 interacts with Counties and Cities with utilities or public transit. It would be really bad if say Metro’s tax and budget was subject to the cap, same thing for City Light or Sewers. It also would be really bad if FTA money given to metro counted against the cap. What about Federal funds given for a specific purpose like fixing the South Park bridge?

    I have noticed at least some of the commenters at the Seattle Times and other forums seem to think I-1033 will apply to Sound Transit, but then again many of the same people think they are somehow paying for Sound Transit out in Ellensburg or Shelton too.

    1. One of the concerns is that since transit funding from sales tax is maxed out, alternative funding sources will be needed in the future. You can already see this happening with this years county budget (5.5% of property tax going to Metro) as well as Bridging the Gap (property tax funds go to Seattle only transit service). Those are the direct affects.

      Less direct but still important are the many road projects that benefit transit or non-motorized transportation projects which are funded from cities general fund. The tighter city budgets become the less capacity they will have to spend money on these less-essential services. Over the long term all additional revenue sources will be sucked up to maintain services like fire, police and social services leaving transit to suffer.

    2. Federal grants don’t count against the caps, but you still have to come up with the matching funds.

      1. As far as I know that provision only applies to money given to the state not Federal grants given directly to counties or cities.

  3. Scare tactics and distortion aren’t working anymore – and they shouldn’t. Voters in Washington State have been misled many, many times and the same forces of greed are panicing to influence voters again.

    The Colorado initiative called TABOR was absolutely not a disaster and has not been rejected by voters. Ask real people in Colorado. They did suspend TABOR for a period of time but refused to abolish it. In fact, TABOR goes right back into effect next year which destroys the misleading attempts to falsely mislead voters in this state.

    Check the supporters and contributors on both sides of the 1033 debate. Anti-1033 forces are unions and a tiny handful of individuals. Pro-1033 supporters are thousands of individuals. Unions are spending tons of money trying to defeat 1033 so they can strongarm the legislature into taking more money from taxpayers for their own selfish benefit. Time to show the unions who runs this state – and it’s NOT them.

    AND GUESS WHAT ELSE THEY’RE NOT TELLING YOU — as soon as this election is over the legislature and Governor Gargoyle plan to remove the 60% requirement to raise taxes that was overwhelmingly approved by the people because the 2-year “hands off” period is almost over. And Gargoyle has publicly supported the idea of RAISING property taxes. How nice – the very governor and legislature who got the state into this deep hole by spending at 2-1/2 times the rate of revenue now want to saddle the people with even greater burdens at the worst possible time to cover their own tracks.

    WHERE IS YOUR MONEY GOING??? Remember when the voters gave the State Auditor the authority to audit and report on state expenditures which has cut wasteful spending in many other states? Not here – the Washington legislature gutted the Auditor’s budget so he can’t do the job people wanted. So much for abiding by the will of the people.

    This runaway governor and legislature must be reigned in and nobody can blame the people for doing what must be done.

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