Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

The ballot measures at a glance

the Inland Register

(From the Oct. 26, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

Initiative 920 – What it would do: Repeals a graduated tax on estates valued at more than $2 million dollars, a revenue source for the education legacy trust fund.
Proponents Say: The estate tax punishes Washington residents for working hard, saving and investing so they could pass their property on to their families. Many of the wealthiest Washingtonians will likely never pay the estate tax because their money is in stock instead of land or property. The passage of initiative 920 will attract industry, jobs and wealth, and family-owned businesses can be kept in families.
Opponents Say: The Estate Tax is the fairest way to raise revenue from those most able to pay. I-920 would wipe out millions of dollars in funding for the state’s public schools. Revenue from this tax pays for higher education enrollment, smaller class sizes, learning assistance programs and state needs-grants for students from middle class families. The estate tax is one way wealthy people pay back to society after they die for the benefits of the system that helped make them rich.

Initiative 933 – What it would do: Requires compensation when regulations reduces the value of private property and forbids regulations that prohibit existing legal uses.
Proponents Say: The government should not take private property or make rules and regulations that restrict it without fair compensation. Government should be required to say why it wants regulations, identify what properties it wants regulated, identify damage to the properties’ use and value and pay for it.
Opponents Say: The initiative is an attack on protections for clean air, clean water and working farms. It requires state and local governments to exempt certain property owners from any land use, zoning or environmental law adopted or changed since the beginning of 1996 unless government pays the property owner for complying with the law. It creates a “pay or waive” system that will force taxpayers to pay millions of dollars or exempt certain landowners and corporations from the law.

Initiative 937 – What it would do: This measure would require certain electric utilities to meet targets for energy conservation and use of renewable energy resources.
Proponents Say: Energy efficiency and electricity from renewable sources have little or no fuel costs and protect consumers from the price and supply volatility of fossil fuels. The initiative would create cleaner air and fewer global warming emissions. Maximizing conservation and adding new renewable resources is a practical alternative to the region’s expansion of coal-fired electricity.
Opponents Say: Biomass, wind and solar power will be unable to replace the need for coal, hydropower and crude oil. Requiring utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable resources is unrealistic. The initiative is poorly written and does not recognize hydropower as a renewable energy source. All ratepayers, businesses and individual households alike will have to pay more for energy consumption.

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