Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No on Three Minor Statewide Issues

With exactly a week before my ballot has to be back in the government's hands, I'm filling it out a bit faster now. So far I've voted yes on I-1185, I-1240 and SJR-8221, approved R-74 and voted no on I-502. Below are three minor statewide issues: SJR-8223 on public fund investments, plus two advisory votes.
NO on SJR-8223, Public Fund Investments

The Issue: In general, Washington state public funds are prohibited from investing in private stocks and bonds. Over time, a laundry list of exceptions has been added to the constitution, primarily allowing public trust funds and public pension funds to invest in private stocks and bonds. SJR-8223 would add the operating budgets of the University of Washington and Washington State University to the list of exceptions.

My Position: Using public funds to invest in private companies looks to me like a backdoor way to pick winners and losers with voters none-the-wiser. I think the general prohibition is a great idea, and that we should probably reduce the list of restrictions rather than increase it.

REPEAL A-1, B&O Tax Increase

The Issue: The Washington legislature raised B&O taxes on some financial institutions and lowered taxes for others, including manufacturers of agriculture products and newspapers, for a net 10-year tax increase of $24 million.

My Position: Tax increases in general are bad. This one in particular is worse. It raises taxes on a disfavored industry (finance) by $170 million, and mostly offsets it with cuts to favored industries (agriculture, newspapers). While this is only an advisory vote, I will vote to repeal to send a message against tax increases and against favors to certain industries over others.

REPEAL A-2, Petroleum Tax

The Issue: A tax on certain commercial petroleum products was set to expire, and the Washington legislature extended the expiration date for a 10-year tax increase of $24 million.

My Position: Once again, tax increases are bad. While A-2 is not as bad as A-1, I will still vote to repeal to send a message against tax increases.

No comments:

Post a Comment