In just seven short days Washingtonians have the opportunity to turn a much needed policy into a state law. On November 3, Initiative 1033 (I-1033) will be on the state ballot. The initiative helps to curb the expansion of government, allowing Washingtonians to keep more of their own money, instead of permitting government spending to unsustainably grow. Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) initiatives are one of the best new tools citizens have limit government growth.
The following is the ballot language of I-1033:
This measure would limit growth of certain state, county and city revenue to annual inflation and population growth, not including voter-approved revenue increases. Revenue collected above the limit would reduce property tax levies.
Far too often, state policymakers overspend their revenue and demand tax increases. These harmful policies often go hand-in-hand: governments spend too much, and want to take more of your money to fix the problem they created. Once they get more tax revenue, responsible budgeting doesn’t follow; states simply spend more money. Currently, there is no effective limit to what Washington can take from taxpayers. I-1033 forces state officials to be responsible with their budgets, and offers real and effective limits on runaway spending. It is a simple measure that keeps government spending in check.
Opponents of I-1033 are under the false impression that I-1033 would freeze state revenue at their current levels, or that government programs would lose funding as a result of its passage. They try to scare voters by saying schools and libraries will close, emergency services will cease to exist, and infrastructure will fall apart. None of these things are true. I-1033 does not cut funding from any program.
In fact, as state population increases and inflation occurs state revenues will go up as well. I-1033, and all TABOR programs, allow for state budgets to expand as the needs of the state expand. What they prevent is excessive spending, not all spending whatsoever. Furthermore, voter-approved revenue increases are excluded from I-1033’s scope. So if something catastrophic happens that requires more funding, Washingtonians can approve more revenue measures. I-1033 does not assure the ruin of state services; it prevents overspending from ruining the state.