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Informed Voter Guide 2010 Initiatives

Informed Voter Guide 2010 Initiatives

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Published by Ryan Petty
Evergreen Freedom Foundation Informed Voter Guide 2010 for Washington State Initiatives
Evergreen Freedom Foundation Informed Voter Guide 2010 for Washington State Initiatives

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Ryan Petty on Oct 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This year more than ever, Washingtonians recognizethe power of their vote and are ready to exercise thatpower on November 2. Voters are anxious to maketheir voices heard in the wake of the Legislature’sdecision to “balance” the budget on
the backs of cizens in the form of 
out-of-control spending and highertaxes. Experts at the Evergreen
Freedom Foundaon reviewed thedecisions and acons made by our
elected leaders and published theresults for voters to see as part of our Informed Voter Project. Ourgoal is an informed citizenry wherepeople go beyond simply checkinga box to determine who shapesthe future of our society, butwho have the information they need to hold theirleaders accountable for how they represent them.
W W W. i n f o r m e d v o t e r g u i d e . C o m
The rst three phases
of our Informed VoterProject focused on
educang people
about current elected
ocials—fromlegislators to Supreme Court jusces. With Phase4, we now turn our aenon to some of the manyiniaves—and one referendum—that are on the
November ballot. You deserve to know how eachof these proposals will impact Washington state,
so you can make an educated, thoughul decisionthis Elecon Day—and beyond. Issues will remainunresolved, and quesons will sll need to beanswered aer the ballots are counted and wehead into next year’s legislave session. Be a part of 
holding legislators accountable in 2011 by joining the
Freedom Foundaon’s Cizen Acon Network. Visitecan.org to nd out how.
2   0  1   0  
To view our guides on legislators and Supreme Court Jusces, please visit 
Reinstating the two-thiRdsLegisLative MajoRity foR taxand fee hikesLegaLizing PRivateindustRiaL insuRancehigh-eaRneR incoMe tax
This measure would re-instate state law requiring tax increases beadopted with a two-thirds vote in the Legisla-
ture. Earlier this year, lawmakers—exercising
their simple majority right to change or re-
peal an iniave aer two years—scrapped
I-960’s two-thirds supermajority vote re-
quirement unl July 1, 2011. Voters approved
I-960 in November 2007. Other provisions of 
I-1053 include reinstang the submission of 
tax increase proposals to a statewide vote
and majority legislave approval for new or
increased fees
Today, Washingtonis one of four states where employersare not allowed to purchase private in-
dustrial insurance (oen called “work
ers comp”). Businesses have two op
ons. Most purchase insurance fromthe state’s Department of Labor & In
-dustries. Some of the largest employ-
ers self insure—that is, they fund and
manage their own industrial insuranceprogram according to state laws and
regulaons. I-1082 would create a thirdopon by allowing employers to pur
-chase private industrial insurance in a
compeve market.
I-1098 would im
-pose a 5 percent tax rate on incomeabove $200,000, or $400,000 for marriedcouples. The rate would climb to 9 per-
cent for single lers making $500,000, or
$1 million for couples. Other provisions
include a 20 percent reducon of thestate poron of the property tax (about
4 percent of the average taxpayer’s totalproperty tax bill) and an increase of the
Business and Occupaon tax credit to$4,800. Revenue from the income tax
would go to a dedicated trust fund for
educaon, health services and middle
class tax relief. The actual text of the ini-
ave describes the proposed incometax as “an excise tax on income”—an at
-tempt to take into account the state con-
stuon’s prohibion against an income
tax and the requirement that any tax be“uniform upon the same property.”
The Oce of Financial Manage
ment states, “Iniave 1053 would have nodirect scal impact on state and local reve
-nues, costs, expenditures or indebtedness.”
OFM notes the iniave’s impact is limitedto changes in the state legislave process.
I-1053 supporters believe restoring the two-thirds vote for tax increases is an important
protecon for taxpayers that limits the nan
-cial burden state government places on thepeople. Opponents of I-1053 claim it would
e legislators’ hands in dealing with the eco
-nomic downturn and state budget.
I-1082 is intended to re
-duce the costs of insurance for employ-ers and employees and to create moreaccountability in the way claims are ad-ministered. Today, Washington workers
with me-loss claims miss an average of 
270 days of work; Washington has thehighest pension rate in the country; and
administrave costs for the state haverisen by over 80 percent in 10 years.Because government has no “boomline,” it lacks the incenves that makeinsurance markets work. Both sponsorsand opponents of I-1082 agree thatmarket compeon will create pressure
to keep these costs down.
According to the Oce of Fi
nancial Management, I-1098 is esmated
to generate a net increase in state rev-
enue of more than $11 billion over ve
years, beginning in 2012. State imple-
mentaon costs are esmated at $39.3million over ve scal years. Economistsat the Beacon Hill Instute contendI-1098 will, if passed, result in the loss
of more than 61,000 private sector jobs,increase the state’s long-term projectedunemployment rate from 6.7 percent to
7.9 percent and cause a reducon in real
disposable income of more than $2.5billion (or $149 per capita). It remains
quesonable if I-1098 could pass cons
tuonal muster.
W W W. i n f o r m e d v o t e r g u i d e . C o m
PRivatizing stateLiquoR stoResRevising stateLiquoR LawsRePeaLing tax incReaseson food and BeveRages
I-1100 privazes the saleand distribuon of liquor and eliminates thestate’s “three er” system of control, whichsegregates manufacturing, distribuon andsales. (Distribuon and retail sales, of course,
are controlled by the state.) This measure
directs the Liquor Control Board to close all
state liquor stores, terminate contracts withprivate stores selling liquor and authorizesthe state to issue licenses that allow hardliquor to be sold, distributed and imported
by private pares. The Liquor Control Board
retains the responsibility for enforcement
and educaon to prevent sale of alcohol to
minors and other alcohol safety laws. Sup-porters point out that under I-1100, revenuefrom new liquor licenses must be used for
licensing, enforcement and educaon to re
-duce alcohol abuse, thereby increasing the
enforcement and educaon budget.
I-1105 also priva-
zes the sale of liquor in the state of Washington. Rather than eliminangthe distribuon “er” of the state’s
control system as I-1100 does, I-1105requires that all sales of alcoholic bev-erages pass through a middlemandistributor from the producer to the
retailer. While I-1100 sets a at fee for
liquor licenses ($1,000), I-1105 deter-mines the liquor license price as a per-cent of liquor sales, which would resultin larger vendors paying more for their
licenses. I-1105 repeals exisng state li
quor taxes and directs the Liquor Boardto make a recommendaon to the Leg
-islature to impose a new liquor tax.
If passed by vot-ers this November, I-1107 would repealfour tax increases passed by the Legisla-ture earlier this year: the new excise taxon carbonated beverages, sales tax on
boled water, sales tax on candy and in
creased Business & Occupaon taxes for
certain food processors. The carbonatedbeverage tax is two cents per 12 ounces,
and is scheduled to expire on June 30,2013. The sales tax on boled water isset to expire on June 30, 2013, but couldbe made permanent if Referendum 52(bond measure for energy ecient proj
-ects) is approved by voters this fall. If adopted by voters, I-1107 would go into
eect December 2.
I-1100 would likely reduce li-
quor prices for consumers by eliminang
the state’s 51.9 percent markup on liquor,
as well as exisng price controls. Opponents
warn that the state will lose out of the mil-
lions of dollars—$277 million over ve years,according to ocial esmates—collected ev
-ery year due to the state’s price markup of 
alcohol, but supporters point out these es
mates fail to take into consideraon the ad
dional tax revenue generated through newbusiness taxes. I-1100 leaves intact exisng
liquor taxes.
A nancial impact reportby the Oce of Financial Managementpredicts the state could suer revenueslosses of $730 million over a ve-yearperiod. However, OFM also reports
that, like I-1100, I-1105 could increaseliquor sales by about 5 percent. I-1105proponents contend that by reform-ing state liquor sales laws to allow forprivate retailers to sell spirits, the state
could expect addional tax receipts.
Ocial esmates indicate
state and local taxpayers would see $435
million in savings over the next ve years
if voters approve I-1107. The state would
see a $55 million reducon in available
revenue for the current budget and a
$218 million reducon for the 2011-13

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