Washington Tax Limitation Act, Initiative 722 (2000)
in Washington State
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The ballot title question asked of voters was, "Shall certain 1999 tax and fee increases be nullified, vehicles exempted from property taxes, and property tax increases (except new construction) limited to 2% annually?"
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
Explanatory Statement by Attorney General: This measure would declare "null and void" any tax increases adopted without voter approval by state and local governments in Washington between July 2, 1999, and December 31, 1999, and would require that any such increase be refunded to the taxpayers. The term "tax" would include sales and use taxes; property taxes; business and occupation taxes; fuel taxes; impact fees; license fees; permit fees; water, sewer, and other utility charges, including taxes, rates, and hook-up fees; and other excise taxes, fees, or monetary charges imposed.
The measure would further provide that, so long as sales of property are subject to local real estate excise tax, a person would be exempt from a legal obligation to pay that portion of property taxes attributable to any increase in value of property (other than for new construction or manufacture) over its 1999 valuation level, plus the lesser of 2% per year or inflation. As long as construction materials are subject to the retail sales tax, a person would be exempt from a legal obligation to pay the portion of property tax on newly constructed or manufactured property after 1999 over the property tax imposed on the owner of a comparable property constructed as of 1999, plus the lesser of 2% per year or inflation.
The measure would also create an exemption from property tax for increases in tax attributable to maintenance improvements made after January 1, 1999. "Maintenance improvements" would include reconstruction after fire and natural disaster or replacement of existing components such as roofs, siding, windows, doors, and painting.
The measure would also amend RCW 84.55.005 to change all of the "106%" limitation factors on property tax levy increases to "102%." The new limit factors would be the lower of 102% or inflation, with the same exceptions for certain taxing districts as are provided in existing law. In other words, a taxing district could increase its levy by no more than the lower of (a) the previous year's inflation rate or (b) 2% over the highest of the three previous years.
The measure would repeal RCW 84.55.092. Taxing districts not levying the maximum amount in prior years would no longer be able to "recapture" levy capacity in future levies.
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