2017 Election: Three statewide advisory votes on November ballot

Saturday, October 7, 2017

By Evan Smith

Voters in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and around Washington face three statewide advisory votes on the November 7 general-election ballot.

The intent of such advisory votes is to give voters a chance to give their opinions on legislation that either creates new taxes or increases existing taxes.

It’s hard to cast an informed ballot, however, because the voters’ pamphlet and the online voters’ guide have nothing more than what is on the ballot; there’s no explanatory statement and no pro- or con- statements.

The first of this year’s advisory votes (No. 16) is on legislation that increases commercial fishing license fees to raise about $100,000 per year for the state wildlife account.

The other two of this year’s advisory votes are on tax measures that the 2017 legislature passed to raise money to pay to comply with the State Supreme Court’s order that the legislature provide full state support for basic education.

One (Advisory Vote No. 17) eliminates some tax exemptions and extends sales taxes to on-line sales.

The last of this year’s advisory votes (No. 18) raises the state property tax. It came about as a compromise between the Republican-controled State Senate and the Democrat-controled House of Representatives. Democrats had proposed paying to support public schools with a carbon tax or a capital-gains tax on high earners but gave in to a Republican proposal to replace local levies with a statewide property tax.

Here are the advisory votes on this year’s ballot:

Advisory Vote No. 16
Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1597


The legislature increased, without a vote of the people, the food fish excise tax rate on certain salmon and game fish, costing less than $1,000,000 in the first ten years, for government spending.

This tax increase should be:

Repealed __
Maintained__

Advisory Vote No. 17
Engrossed House Bill 2163


The legislature expanded, without a vote of the people, the business and occupation tax and narrowed certain retail sales and use tax exemptions, costing $565,000,000 in the first ten years, for government spending.

This tax increase should be:

Repealed __
Maintained__

Advisory Vote No. 18
Engrossed House Bill 2242


The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, an additional state property tax for common schools, costing $12,949,000,000 in the first ten years, for government spending.

This tax increase should be:

Repealed __
Maintained__



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