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November 9, 2007

Gregoire backs Eyman's property tax cap

Posted by David Postman at 4:19 PM

The day after the election I wrote about Democrats' argument that Tuesday's conservative-leaning results were due to low turnout and should not be read as any voter discontent. I wondered:

Will Democratic candidates in 2008 be confident enough of that to ignore the rumblings of voter discontent? After I-695, remember, Democratic lawmakers who opposed the measure quickly put much of it in law after it was thrown out by the courts.

I just got back from Seattle and found a statement from Gov. Chris Gregoire about yesterday's Supreme Court decision throwing out Initiative 747.

"I plan to push for legislation that establishes a one percent cap on annual property tax increases. I am already in discussions with legislative leaders on the best next steps to make sure we can implement this correctly.

"I am urging local leaders and taxing districts to not increase their tax levies, based on the court decision, to give the legislature time to act.

"The voters approved Initiative 747, it has been in place for five years and I think we need to leave it in place."

Some history: Last year Gregoire was much less certain about how low the property tax cap should be set.

She declined to state a position on the correct percentage, but indicated that perhaps neither the old number nor the 1 percent cap is the best solution.

The 6 percent, she said, clearly begins to tax people out of their homes and the 1 percent limit appears to cause cutbacks on core local services that people need.

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