We all know that Tim Eyman can be pretty damn revolting, but are taxpayers?
According to a recent survey conducted for the City of Renton… no.
As reported this week in the King County Journal (“Renton survey: Majority willing to pay more in property taxes“) a survey of 400 residents found broad support for maintaining public services at current levels. 63% responded that their local taxes were well spent, with only 24% saying they were not.
When informed that maintaining city services and facilities would require a levy increase of 1% (about $10 per year on average) 41% supported a 1% increase, while 15% supported increasing by more than 1%. Only 11% responded that they wanted lower taxes.
That’s 56% for higher taxes, 11% for lower.
What does all this mean? Well first of all, it apparently says that Renton is a well-run city.
But it also tells you that despite years of fomenting an anti-government tax revolt, Eyman’s claims of broad support for his tax-cutting agenda are groundless. Taxpayers are smart consumers, and except for a minority of ideologues, they are willing to pay for value when they see it.
There is no question that not all local governments are as efficient and responsive as the City of Renton. But that’s all the more reason to address these local problems locally rather than through Eyman’s ridiculously over-simplified statewide initiatives that seek to punish all governments, even those already doing a good job… especially those already doing a good job.
If Eyman somehow manages to get next year’s “Son of I-864” onto the ballot, he will be asking voters statewide to tell Renton voters that they can’t have the level of local services they want, unless they can manage a 60% supermajority to pass an excess levy.
That’s not just undemocratic. It’s just plain stupid.