WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) proudly supports the tireless efforts of Washington State resident Tim Eyman, including his most recent initiative to pass property tax relief on tomorrow\’s ballot. Voters will decide whether they want to limit property tax growth to 1% per year, saving themselves $115 million by July 2003.

At the present time, jurisdictions other than the state may raise property taxes by 6%. Those jurisdictions that do not increase their property taxes to that maximum amount in a given year may "bank" the leftover percentage for a double tax hike the following year.

Residents of Washington State have expressed their desire to limit property taxes themselves on two other separate occasions, by passing other initiatives similar to I-747. Both I-695 and I-722 were efforts of Eyman\’s, and passed with wide public approval by ballot initiative, but were struck down by the Washington State Supreme Court. This time, I-747 complies with the Court\’s "single-subject" ruling.

I-747 allows localities to increase property taxes by more than 1%, if voters approve. The first sentence of I-747 reads, "This measure would limit property tax increases to 1% per year unless approved by the voters."

"Initiative 747 represents the spirit of democracy, by capping the growth of property taxes but allowing taxpayers to vote on increases when they determine increases are necessary," said Damon B. Ansell, Vice-President for Policy at ATR. "The first step is to create the ceiling, and eliminate this \’banking\’ process by which localities can surprise taxpayers with enormous hikes. Then, voters can take further steps as they see fit, relinquishing income to the services of government by choice, rather than on a compulsory basis like they do now. Liberty entails choice – taxpayers will have the freedom to make choices about how their tax dollars are spent by voting for I-747."

"I am proud to support Tim Eyman, and his efforts to pass I-747," said Grover Norquist, President of ATR. "Last year, I nominated Mr. Eyman for the Ronald Reagan Award. Eyman won the award for exemplifying the \’Reagan spirit of outstanding achievement and selfless contribution.\’ I nominated him because of his work passing the anti-tax ballot initiative I-695. I am proud to nominate Mr. Eyman again this year for his efforts to pass I-747."