Sizzling hot desire: Resolution on eliminating certain Washington State tax reductions

The following resolution (copied from King County Dems’ website) calls on our Democratic legislators to stand up and do the right thing: challenge the constitutionality of anti-tax initiative I-1053.

The resolution was passed by the King County Democratic Central Committee on April 26, 2011

This resolution is almost identical to a resolution being passed by the 32nd LD.  A similar resolution was passed by the 31st and  45th LDs. See Real Washington State Budget Info, I-1053 is Unconstitutional, and Eyman versus our State Constitution.

The resolution expresses the sizzling hot desire of PCOs and other Democratic activists that the Democratic Party stop pussyfooting around on the issue of tax fairness. Let’s stop being wimps about stating what’s blatantly obvious: it’s unjust that companies earning billions in profits get taxbreaks when education and social services are being slashed.

RESOLUTION: MEET BUDGETARY NEEDS BY CURTAILING CORPORATE TAX BREAKS

WHEREAS the Constitution of the State of Washington:

  1. specifies, in Article II, Section 22, Passage of Bills, that a bill may become law (subject to gubernatorial approval) upon the affirmative votes of “a majority of the members elected to each house,” and

  2. states, in Article VII, Revenue and Taxation, “The power of taxation shall never be suspended, surrendered or contracted away,” and

  3. provides only two procedures for amending the Constitution, each of which (in Article XXIII, Amendments) requires that the amendment process begin in the State Legislature; and

WHEREAS Initiative 1053, by establishing through the initiative process a supermajority requirement for legislative enactment of tax increases, contravenes Articles II, VII and XXIII of the State Constitution; and

WHEREAS the Constitution of the State of Washington states in particular, in Section 1 of Article IX, Education: “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders”; and

WHEREAS school funding in our state has been cut by more than $2 billion in the past two years, leaving it no better than 45th in the nation in school funding as a percent of income, while not a penny has been cut in tax breaks for wealthy corporations; and

WHEREAS continuing to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions to wealthy corporations while failing to provide $420 million in “Basic Education” funding to schools is contrary to our State Constitution; and

WHEREAS misguided adherence to manifestly unconstitutional I-1053 would impede the ability of the State both to continue its essential social safety net and to carry out its Constitutional responsibility “to make ample provision for the education of … children;”

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that there is no valid reason for the State Legislature to abide by the provisions of I-1053 until and unless its constitutionality has been established by the Washington State Supreme Court; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge members of the Washington State Legislature to deem I-1053 as not applying to the restoration of normal tax rates to entities that have been granted special tax exemptions or preferences in the past; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge members of the Washington State Legislature to review all tax preferences previously granted to wealthy corporations and remove those that are no longer accomplishing their originally intended purposes or are not appropriate in the current economic circumstances; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this Resolution, upon its adoption, be sent to every member of the Washington State Legislature representing a Legislative District located in whole or in part in King County.

Initiated by the 32nd Legislative District Democratic Organization, April 13, 2011

Revised by KCDCC Platform, Resolutions and Bylaws Committee

Adopted 4/26/2011 by the King County Democratic Central Committee

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