Big Scrimpin': Budget Office Says Eyman Initiative Would Slash Budgets by Billions

As county budgets continue to reel from the effects of Tim Eyman's property tax-capping I-747 (brought to you by the Democratic leadership!), this year brings another Eyman measure to the ballot. But instead of capping property taxes, he now wants to cap government budgets. The baseline would be this year, when budgets were slashed because of the recession. Going forward, state, county, and city budgets couldn't increase except in proportion to population growth or inflation. Any revenue collected over that amount would go towards lowering the next year's property taxes.

So the state Office of Financial Management ran a few projections (pdf), and it estimates that, from the years 2010 to 2015, I-1033 would cost state government $5.9 billion, county governments $694 million, and city governments $2.1 billion. (See it all in bar graphs here.) Which is nothing, really, unless you care about schools, fire departments, law enforcement, social services, transportation, health care...

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