WASHINGTON, D.C.-Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports Initiative 747 because it will defuse the "Property Tax Time Bomb" by requiring state and local governments to limit property tax levy increases to 1% per year, unless voters approve an increase greater than this limit.
Opponents of the measure claim, "I-747 hits hard in local communities, impacting essential services like fire, hospital and emergency medical services," (CWA Local 7800 press release, 4/19/01).
Opponents never mention, however, that Washington property taxes double every 7 to 9 years. In fact, Washingtonians worked 130 days in 2001 to pay their taxes, 37 of which went towards paying state and local taxes. Residents of only four states had to work longer in 2001 than Washingtonians to pay their taxes. The number of days that Washingtonians work to afford the cost of government continues to increase every year.
In Washington State at this time, the annual limit on raising property taxes is 2% statewide, and 6% for local governments. Initiative 747 empowers Washingtonians by providing them with the responsibility of determining whether increases in property taxes are necessary. Measure 747 will prevent tax-and-spend politicians from holding Washington taxpayers hostage to spending increases.
According to the State Department of Revenue, I-747 will save taxpayers $1.8 billion from 2001-2007. With the people of Washington working more days every year to pay their taxes than personal food, shelter and clothing expenditures combined, I-747 will relieve burdened Washingtonians and slow the spending of their money by politicians.
We urge all Washington residents to join the effort and sign the I-747 petition before July 6 to ensure a special election for Initiative 797 in the fall.