Predictable Property Tax Amendment Washington State sign now

We, the undersigned, urge you to give the people of Washington the opportunity to vote on the issue of property tax reform, which the State Legislature has denied us for the past forty years.

Reforming our property tax system requires a constitutional amendment. During this past Washington State Legislative Session (2006), Property Owners for Predictable Tax Now submitted bills (HJR 4214 & SJR 8219) which would have capped property valuations at 2006 levels with a 1\% yearly increase thereafter (excluding new construction and sales). The text of HJR 4214/SJR 8219 is as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION ASSEMBLED:
THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state the secretary of state shall submit to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article VII of the Constitution of the state of Washington by adding a new section to read as follows:
Article VII, section . . .. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision in this article, the assessed value of real property shall be determined pursuant to this section. The assessed value of real property shall reflect annual inflationary or deflationary changes, as indicated by the consumer price index or other comparable index, on real property. Inflationary increases shall not exceed one percent of the prior year's assessed value. The assessed value of real property shall also reflect substantial damage, destruction, or other occurrences that cause a decline in the assessed value of real property.
(2)(a) For the purposes of this section, "assessed value" means the county assessor's valuation of real property for taxes levied for collection in 2007, the fair market value of real property when purchased or other change in ownership has occurred, or the previous assessed value plus an increase in value from new construction. Real property not assessed for taxes levied for collection in 2007 shall be reassessed to the January 1, 2006, estimated valuation according to the revaluation plans approved by the department of revenue.
(b) "New construction" does not include real property that is reconstructed after a disaster, as declared by the governor, where the fair market value of the real property, as reconstructed, is comparable to its fair market value prior to the disaster.
(3) The legislature shall have the power, by appropriate legislation, to enact provisions to implement the requirements of this section.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the secretary of state shall cause notice of this constitutional amendment to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state.

END of Amendment Text

The current property tax laws of Washington state deny property owners the ability to budget for their futures and destroy pride in ownership.

Not even the IRS taxes on unrealized value, as is the situation under Washington's current system!

As to the issue of fairness: the fact that a newly purchased property would be assessed at a different (higher) level than a similar property purchased previously is fair because the new purchaser has a choice, whereby, the owner of the previously purchased property is continually punished by the whims of the current real estate market. Punishing the long-term property owner in this way is not only cruel and unjust, but does not reduce the tax burden of the new purchaser.

The voters of Washington approved Initiative 747 in 2001. As a result, revenue generated by taxing districts for services such as fire, police, emergency, and schools will not be negatively affected nor reduced in any way under our proposed amendment. Under Initiative 747, tax revenue districts receive only the amount from the previous year, plus 1\%.

Broken property tax systems are creating a nationwide revolt as recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times; as well as reports on national television and radio.

Our amendment is NOT a "Prop 13" remedy. However, research on Californias Proposition 13 has proved that limiting property valuations in this manner has not negatively affected real estate sales, contrary to the expected.

Further, this amendment does not create a split roll whereby business, commercial, or residential properties would be assessed at different levels.

The people of the state of Washington, ask only of our legislators to give us the opportunity to vote on this issue of property tax reform.

For more information, please visit www.predictabletax.com

By electronically signing this petition, you are affirming that you are 18 years of age or older, a citizen of Washington state, and you fully support this petition.

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Johnnie JenningsBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
Washington State Legislators

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