King County Superior Court Judge Mary Robert’s has tossed out Tim Eyman’s 2001 property tax initiative, I-747, ruling it unconstitutionally deceptive.
I-747 had been Timmy’s most wide-reaching victory, generally limiting increases in state and local property tax revenues to one percent a year… well below the rate of inflation. The fiscal impact has been catastrophic, particularly for rural taxing districts, with many now on the verge of insolvency.
Prior to 2000, local property increases were generally capped at six percent. In November of that year voter’s passed Eyman’s I-722, which amongst other things lowered that cap to two percent a year. I-722 was immediately challenged, and on November 30, 2000, the Thurston County Superior Court ordered a preliminary injunction barring implementation and enforcement.
In a concise, six-page decision, Judge Robert’s explains what happened next:
On January 11, 2001, after I-722’s implementation was halted, I-747 was filed with the secretary of state. By its language, I-747 sought to amend I-722, by decreasing the cap on property taxes from two percent to one percent, unless the voters approved a higher cap.
Amendatory legislation such as I-747 is subject to article II, section 37 of the state constitution, which requires that,
No act shall ever be revised or amended by mere reference to its title, but the act revised or the section amended shall be set forth at full length.
Wash. Const. art. 2,