The hypocrites advocating for Seattle’s Initiative 122 claim that their intention is to “level the playing field” for voters engaging in the political process. But, in the scheme they are pushing, leveling the playing field ironically depends on low voter turn out.
The initiative allows Seattle candidates to opt into a system where voters can give $100 to candidates they like. Another property tax hike would fund the $100 vouchers. In words, homeowners will fund vouchers to let other people give that money away.
Beyond all the reasons not to support I-122 (including the stunning hypocrisy involved), the absurd scheme itself does not make any sense. The program is voluntary. Candidates who choose not to participate may raise an unlimited amount of money, potentially against an opponent who participates.
More, I-122 supporters claim that the scheme would cost property taxpayers less than $10 a year on a median-priced home for a total property tax increase of $6 million. But, that estimate depends on a very low voter turnout rate.
In order to provide $25 vouchers to Seattle’s more than 410,000 voters, it would take a $41 million property tax increase. I-122 supporters are counting on the vast majority of Seattle voters never collecting their vouchers. In fact, a mere 13 percent of voters would receive their vouchers before funding is depleted.
As KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross put it, “[I-122 is] a measure whose success depends on it failing.”