2010 GSBA Voter’s Guide
GSBA’s Board of Directors has approved an endorsement of the following initiative and referendum campaigns. As a matter of policy GSBA does not endorse candidates for elected office.
Initiative 1053 – GSBA recommends a vote of “No”
I-1053 is a Tim Eyman sponsored initiative that seeks to impose a supermajority requirement on our lawmakers whereby two thirds of the Legislature must vote to approve any measure that would increase taxes or fees. It is the shared belief of Public Policy Task Force and Board of Directors that this measure will hamper the state’s ability to legislate and tie the hands of government to react to the needs of the citizens. Education, transportation, health care, and more will be negatively affected by this initiative.
Initiative 1082 – GSBA recommends a vote of “No”
Washington’s worker’s compensation program provides partial income replacement to employees injured on the job. Currently, it is completely managed by the state. Employers are required by the state to provide this coverage to their employees. Washington State’s current system is celebrated as one of the best in the country and is regularly modeled after by other states. I-1082 would allow private insurers to offer a replacement program to employers. It would also eliminate the employee-paid portion of medical benefit premiums.
Opening up our state to private insurers for this type of coverage is not guaranteed to reduce premiums. In fact, it is quite possible premiums could go up by shifting the burden onto small business owners, forcing some to do away with non-mandated benefits such as health insurance or worse, cut jobs. We should not change a system that is working efficiently.
Initiative 1098 – GSBA recommends a vote of “Yes”
This measure would create a “high-earner” income tax to be paid by single Washingtonians with an adjusted gross income (AGI) over $200,000 and couples (including domestic partners) with a joint or combined AGI over $400,000. It is estimated that this will generate approximately $1.3 billion per year. $1 billion is directed to a special trust fund requiring the Legislature to direct 70% towards public education and 30% towards state-funded health care programs. The remaining $300 million is used to reduce the state portion of property taxes by 20% and increase the tax credit for state B&O taxes from $420 to $4,800.
While this initiative is not as comprehensive as we would like to see it is a valuable step towards more comprehensive tax reform. By providing tax relief to 80% of our state’s small businesses and additional funding to education and healthcare, it is our hope that passage of this initiative will show our Legislature that Washingtonians are ready for broad tax changes that includes a reduction in sales and property taxes, reform of the regressive B&O tax on gross receipts rather than net revenue, and a fair income tax applicable to all citizens of Washington.
Initiative 1107 – GSBA recommends a vote of “No”
In the recent legislative session, new, temporary sales taxes were imposed by the legislature on certain luxury items such as candy, bottled water, and carbonated beverages. This measure would repeal them and would also reduce tax rates for certain food processors.
As an organization that advocates for equitable taxation, we recognize our state government’s need to balance the budget by cutting funding and increasing certain taxes during economically challenging times. This measure would unbalance the budget. Removing the revenue generated by these temporary tax increases would force the state to cut critical funding for safety net programs and services that benefit all Washingtonians.
Referendum 52 – GSBA recommends a vote to “Approve”
Engrossed House Bill No. 2561 was passed by the State Legislature during the recent session. The bill authorizes the issuing of bonds to finance construction and repair projects increasing energy efficiency in public schools and higher education buildings, and continue the sales tax on bottled water otherwise expiring in 2013.
Most importantly, these funds, included in the approved bi-annual budget, will be used to make necessary sustainability and environmental upgrades to our state’s educational facilities. Funds raised by Referendum 52 will employ more than 5,000 construction workers who will support three to six times as many indirect jobs. As the mission of our Scholarship Program opens, “To invest in the education of…” this bill needs your vote of approval to provide these vital funds to green-up and update our state’s educational institutions.
If you would like more information about these Initiatives and Referendum, please visit:
No on 1053 – www.voteno1053.com
No on 1082 – www.voteno1082.com
Yes on 1089 – www.yeson1098.com
No on 1107 – www.voteno1107.com