by Cindy Alia 4/12/2023
Great news! SB 5770 is tabled and is a dead bill for this session!
Thanks to the strong leadership of the Republican Senate, and especially to your responses to the urgent calls to action on SB 5770 which triples calculations on your property taxes! Thank you Senators Short, Braun, and Linda Wilson for sounding the alarm to the citizens of Washington State!
Two of the bill's sponsors backed out of the bill because of public pressure, and the bill would not have had the support to pass. The bill sponsor tabled the bill and it will not get a vote on the floor! The bill is dead!
Thousands of calls were received in Olympia, I want to thank CAPR members and friends for stridently opposing the bill and letting their legislators know their opinions!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for saving yourself and your neighbors from an outrageous property tax increase!
Now is a good time to say thanks by calling your Senator and just saying thank you for standing up for you!
Or call the legislative hotline 800 562 6000 to thank your legislators! I have a hunch this bill was not very popular on the house side of the capitol!
CAPR has been updating the story of 5770 on our website! We believe this bill will harm the most people at the worst time in our state!
Good news for the weekend, go ahead and celebrate!
We have a lot of work to do to prove the fact that most counties do not need more of your money, but do need to check their priorities and spending!
If you have some financial background and can volunteer some time on an accountability project please contact CAPR!
SB 5770 is slated to be voted on the Senate floor tomorrow!
Read about a press conference tomorrow morning from Senator Braun!
SB 5770 to triple calculations yearly on your property taxes is still very much a "live" bill. We are watching closely to see if it is placed on the Senate Floor Calendar. The Senate has until March 13 to pass a bill from the house of origin (senate) so the bill could come up at any time prior to and including March 13.
CAPR Members and friends are sending emails and calling their Senators to let them know how to vote on this bill. Many calls have been received already but we need to keep the pressure on if we are to avoid a huge increase in our already burdensome property taxes. I recommend to also call the legislative hotline at 800 562 6000, as I have confidence the good people working those lines will accurately relay your message to your Senator and Representatives, thus assuring your voice is heard!
Read the fiscal note on 5770 to get an idea of the huge increases in "revenue" the state anticipates if this bill passes. The burden will lie on you, surely you must make your voice heard at 800 562 6000
You must make your voice and opinion heard! Call 800 562 6000
As we have feared, and warned our members about, the leaders and members listed here Sponsors: Pedersen, Van De Wege, Robinson, Dhingra, Nguyen, Wellman, Keiser, Valdez, Saldaña, Hunt, Salomon, Randall, Cleveland, Wilson, C., Stanford, Lovick, Nobles, Hasegawa, Trudeau, Liias have scheduled a hearing on January 18 to triple the growth rate for your property taxes in the Ways and Means Committee. These are the people who want more of your money! But do you trust of approve of what they will do with it?
The chair of the Ways and Means Committee is June Robinson (360) 786-7674, and the vice-chair is Mark Mullet (360) 786-7608. June Robinson is also a sponsor of the bill. I am sure a phone call to any sponsor of the bill, or to the chairs of the Senate Ways and Means committee is appropriate if you are a constituent or if you are the kind of person who objects to being taxed off your hard earned private property!
Because the bill has gone through Ways and Means at the very end of last session, this bite at your budget in the Wsys and Means committee this session could progress quickly, with little to no time to register your opinion! It is the last chance in the senate to have a public hearing, after that is can go to a committee hearing where it would be sent to the senate floor for a vote!
If, as sometimes happens, your calls to legislators are not being answered, you may always call the legislative hot line at 800 562 6000 where the good people answering their phones will cordially and kindly forward your message on the bill, pro or con, to your legislators! Simple as that! Remember these good people did not author the bill and do take their work of passing your information on quite seriously so be kind in your comments to them even if you don't take kindly to the bill or its outragous sponsors!
This is what Senator Braun wrote in his message alerting us to the progression of the bill:
ALERT: Democrat bill to triple the allowable growth rate of property tax will get hearing Jan. 18
A bad bill Senate Democrats sponsored last year is being given a chance this year to move forward. Senate Bill 5770 would triple the 1% cap on the allowable growth rate for state and local property taxes, taking $12 billion more of your money over the next 12 years.
SB 5770 will be heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee at 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 18. You can sign on in opposition, submit written testimony, or testify in person or by Zoom. You can also pass along this information to your friends and family so they can also weigh in.
Another option to oppose the bill is to contact the offices of the 20 Democrats who sponsored the bill and tell them how you feel about it.
Democrats claim the money will pay for better law enforcement and more public school services for children with disabilities.
So why is this bill bad?
- Bottom line: Raising property taxes would make the affordability crisis in our state worse. Lifting the 1% cap on annual growth goes against the will of the voters.
- State government doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.
- Tripling the property tax rate cap is just plain wrong. Can’t Washingtonians get a single year where Democrats aren’t digging deeper into their pockets?
- Democrat concern for public safety seems hollow given how their policies have gutted police departments, vilified law enforcement, put offenders’ rights above victims’ rights, and created a revolving door in our criminal justice system.
- Funding services for children with disabilities should NEVER depend on a new tax. These programs should be funded BEFORE other programs are funded out of the budget.
- Democrats like to say that additional money is needed to fund things we are already required to provide. Their tactic is to fund new spending out of the budget and say they need new money to fund core programs – to meet our Constitutional obligations. It’s manipulating the public into allowing them to grow spending.
- Property tax increases hit everyone. They hit seniors on fixed incomes, middle class families trying to afford higher prices on gas and groceries, and renters who will pay higher rents to cover the higher taxes housing providers have to pay on multi-family units.
- Increased property taxes also make inflation worse because business owners have to raise prices to cover the increased overhead.
- Higher property taxes translate into higher housing costs, for homeowners and renters alike. How can Democrats say they want to provide affordable housing while also making housing more expensive for everyone?
- We have a severe housing shortage. Owning a home is increasingly out of reach for many, even with rising incomes across the state, because they simply can’t save enough to break into the housing market. This makes the problem worse.
- Higher property taxes will put more people on the street.
Washingtonians can't afford to have another $12 billion taken from them by the government! They are already having to go without on many essential items because prices are too high. State government already gets enough of your money.
6-year estimate: Increases property taxes by $4.1 billion.
1. FY 24: $108 million ($48 million state & $60 million local)
2. FY 25: $322 million ($143 million & $179 million)
3. FY 26: $548 million ($245 million & $303 million)
4. FY 27: $786 million ($353 million & $433 million)
5. FY 28: $1.045 billion ($469 million & $571 million)
6. FY 29: $1.312 billion ($593 million & $719 million)
3. Every year about an additional $250 million more is collected than the prior year (note: this delta will grow over time)
4. 10-year estimate: $12 billion increase in property taxes over current law
Government Revenue Growth Over Last Decade
1. State revenue: 6.5% avg annual growth
2. Five largest cities: 6.5% avg annual growth
3. 30 largest cities: 6.1% avg annual growth
4. Counties: 5.7% avg annual growth
Inflation average (2012-21):
• Implicit Price Deflator (IPD) = 1.6% avg annual growth
• Consumer Price Index (CPI) = 2.4% avg annual growth
STOP raising taxes.
STOP making housing even less affordable.
Fund priorities from existing revenue.
Provide meaningful tax RELIEF instead.
To prove the point there is never too much of other peoples' money, an update on SB 5770 is timely now!
SB 5770 is still a "live" bill and will most likely be heard and rushed through the legislative process this session!
Because the bill was heard last session and then quickly sent to the Ways and Means committee, the likelihood of passage is much higher than bills starting the process in a regular committee. It could be heard in Ways and Means and get a quick vote to be heard on the floor and voted on there in the Senate, and then get a quick vote in the House!
It is advised that you contact your senator and let him or her know your opinion on the passage of this bill! Find your senator here at this link, and then make sure you let them know you are not fooled by deceptive titles or last minute shenanigans, the bill is going to hit your pocketbook hard!
This morning, thanks to Senator Shelly Short, we find the deceptive practices of legislators will continue to the last minute! A bill introduced yesterday, 5770 Providing state and local property tax reform. will substantially increase your property taxes. This has the potential to price many out of their homes! If the state does not need the money, what is the purpose of the bill?
You must contact your senators on this bill and call the legislative hotline with a civil, but firm message about the bill! 800 562 6000
Senator Short has emailed an alert to her constituents and others on her email list so we could know what has happened and what we should do about it!
l 12, 2023
Property-tax increases could triple under proposal from Senate Democrats
Red alert for Washington: Suspicious timing shows us this is serious
Dear friends and neighbors,
Your property taxes increase every year. How would you like it if they grew three times faster?
Over the last 24 hours, that has become a frightening prospect in Olympia.
Our Democratic colleagues are making a last-minute push for an enormous increase in property taxes. It’s time for Washington to go on alert – these things really do happen at the Capitol, I am sorry to report.
Yesterday, Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would make an important technical change in the way property taxes are calculated from one year to the next. Senate Bill 5770 would allow state and local property taxes to grow at triple the rate they do at present. Right now the limit is one percent a year. This bill would allow property taxes to increase at 3 percent a year.
This means property taxes could increase statewide by about $3 billion by 2027. The proposal has left many of us reeling – not just about the size of the increase, but also the tactics that have been employed to push it through at the last possible moment.
This proposal would hurt those who can afford it the least. It would hurt the elderly and the retired, especially those who may not qualify for senior citizen tax exemptions. It would make it harder for working families to maintain their homes. It would make it harder for our youth to buy homes. Given all the work we have done this session to increase affordable housing and reduce the burden of state regulation, this proposal is a disgrace.
This proposal is the last thing we should be considering. It is government greed at its worst.
This bill is sponsored by 20 of 29 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus – enough to demonstrate this is a serious proposal. Our colleagues hold the majorities in the House and Senate, and have the votes to pass it, if they wish.
A transparent tactic
If our colleagues had introduced this bill just two days later, they wouldn’t have been able to pass it. That’s because we are 11 days from adjournment on April 23. If this bill had been introduced within 10 days of adjournment, the constitution would have required a two-thirds vote for passage. Republican votes would have been required.
And as floor leader for the Senate Republican Caucus, I can assure you they never would have gotten them.
We believe in keeping faith with voters. This one-percent limitation on property taxes was passed by Washington voters in the form of Initiative 747, back in 2001. The state Supreme Court overturned this initiative for technical reasons in 2007, but the Legislature came back to Olympia for a special session a month later and re-enacted it. Back then, the Legislature was more interested in what the people had to say.
We don’t need the money
It is hard to see this as anything but an outright grab for your wallet. It’s not as if state government is hurting. Tax collections and spending have doubled in the last decade, mostly because of growth in existing taxes. In addition, our colleagues passed a new state income tax on capital gains in 2021. They defeated a challenge in the state Supreme Court last month, and last week they introduced legislation to expand this income tax, in a way that likely would hit middle-class taxpayers like you and me.
Washington already has the 13th highest tax burden in the country, according to the state Department of Revenue, an average $6,220 per person. We are about $1,000 higher than the median state, New Hampshire, at $5,154. Our neighboring states? Oregon clocks in at $5,234 and Idaho at $4,164.
Certainly that should be enough.
What can you do?
You can let your Legislature know what you think about this idea by contacting us directly. You can leave messages for any member of the Legislature on the Legislative Hotline, at 1-800-562-6000. You can call members’ offices directly, or use the handy email forms on member websites. Our Democratic colleagues especially will appreciate knowing where you stand on this matter. On our side of the aisle, I think we already know.
Thanks for reading,
Sen. Shelly Short, 7th Legislative District