Walla Walla Council votes to oppose Initiative 1033

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WALLA WALLA -- The City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to oppose Tim Eyeman's latest attack on municipal coffers, Initiative 1033.

All council member were present.

The initiative, to be voted on this November, would cap the amount state, county and city governments can collect from sales and utility taxes, with increases allowed for inflation and growth.

I-1033 would also require any additional funds received beyond the cap to be used to reduce property taxes.

Municipal governments across the state, including Walla Walla County, city of College Place and now city of Walla Walla, are opposing the initiative and argue it would further the debt created by another Eyeman tax reducer, Initiative 695.

The voter approved I-695 set the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax to a flat $30 fee nearly a decade ago.

"There will be a slowdown in our ability to respond," said interim City Manager Tim McCarty, who speculated that everything from permits to emergency services could be affected.

"At the worst, there will be fewer people to do the work. So the conditions of parks deteriorate, the library hours are reduced, the number of fire and police personnel is reduced," he said.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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