A PAMPHLET Amendment to the Constitutim-"p~tol posed by the Legislature i- - ."-- Submitting to the People tbe Qnedion of Amadding Article VII relating to revenue and irSI2Etion. striking ' Sections 1. 2. 3 and 4. and inserting b lien tbereof a new Section to be known a s Seotion 1. r, To be submitted to the Legal Voters of the State of Washington for Their Approval or Rejection at the GEN- ERAL ELECTlON to be held on Tuesday, Nor. 6,1928 Compiled and Imsued by J GRANT HINXLE, Secretary of -State . - - - * - .L , - - -. - * -. Under and by Authority of Ghapter 50; Lawm of 1017 An Amendment to the State Constitution To Be Submitted to the Q u d U W I Electors of the State for Their Appmv.1 or Refection at the GENERAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6,1928 CONCISE STATEMENT "Ax &E~DMENT of Article VII of the state constitution relating to revenue and taxation, by striking sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 and inserting in lieu thereof e single section reenacting certain provisions of the sections stricken m d providing that property may be classified for the purpose of taxation." AN Acr to amend Article VII of the or contracted away. All taxes shall be constitution of the State of Wash- uniform upon the same class of prog- ington relating to revenue and erty and shall be levied and collected taxation, striking Sections 1, 2, 3 for public purposes only: Provided. and 4 and inserting in lieu thereof That the property of the United Stater a new section to be known as Sec- and of the State, counties, school dir- tion 1. tricts and other municipal corpora- tions, and such other property as the Be i t enacted bg The Legislature of the legislature may by general laws pro- State of Washington: vide, shall be exempt from taxation: SECTIOX. That a t the general elec- 1 And provided further, That the legisla- tion to be held in this state on the ture shall have power, by appropriate Tuesday next succeeding the llrst Non- legislation, to exempt personal prop- day in November, 1928, there shall be erty to the amount of Three Hundred submitted to the qualified electors of Dollars ($300.00) for each head of n this state for their adoption and. ap- family liable to assessment and taxa- proval an amendment to Article VII of tion under the provisions cf the lawr the Constitution of the State of Wash- of this hitate of which the individual is ington, by striking from said Article the actual bone flde owner. VII all of sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, and Passed the House February 3, 1927. inserting in lieu thereof the following, to be known as Section 1: Paseed the Senate February 18,1927. Section 1 The power of taxation . shall never be suspended, surrendered STATE O F WASHINGTON--sb. Filed in the oface of the Secretary of State. February 26, 1927. J . GRANT HIEIIZLE, Secretary of Btatc. Ab0004 7 0 5 7 8 7 AN ARGUMENT A t i A l ~ s 1 'THE r ~ u r u b E DAMENDMENT OF ARTICLE VII OF TEX STATE CONSTITUTIOX. The same amendment was sub- vided by law." "The Legislature mitted to the voters of this state at shall provide by law A UNIFORM the general election held in Pu'ovem- AND EQUAL RATE OF ASSESS- ber, 1 9 0 8 , and overmhelmingly de- MENT AND TAXATION ON ALL feated by a vote of nearly three to PROPERTY in the state, according one. to its value in money and shall pre- A similar amendment has been be- scribe such regulation by general fore the Legislature a t every session law as SHALL SECURE A ZUST since that time, but each Legislature, VALUATION FOR TAXATION OF except the last one, did not forget the ALL PROPERTY, SO THAT EVERY emphatic etand taken by the voters. PERSON AND CORPORATION All the reasons that the voters had SHALL PAY A TAX IN PKOPOR- for the defeat of the amendment be- TION TO THE VALUE OF HIS, fore, still hold. HER OR ITS PROPERTY." Remember, this amendment has Do you want to strike that from nothing to do v i t h the amount of the Constitution? The roters said taxes levied for state, county, city. "NO" the other time. echo01 district and other public pur- The object of these provisions in POSeS. the Constitution was to protect the I t does not touch upon the question weak from the strong. of high taxes or tho reduction of Granting the Legislature a free taxes. hand simply means pushing the tax This amendment covers the one burden on to the weak. question of whose property, and the This amen&ment opens the doors extent that one's property, shall be to special interests a t each legislative taxed, to make up the total sum re- session in which each group will try quired for state, county, city, school to "get out from under." There will district and other pnblic purposes. be more lobbyists than legislators, Keep in mind that this amendment and a new set of tax laws a t each concerns the very Constitution itself session. You need one guess as to which the people themselves have which group will come out on top in adopted for t b preservation of their the end. What will become of equal- rights and privileges. The Supreme ity and uniformity then? Court has said that the Constitution I t must be remembered that bal- imposes impassablo barriers beyond ance of legislative power shifts from which the Legislature cannot go. It year to year. The group who feel is a limitation and not a grant of that they can today impose their will power. upon the people may in a short time This amendment is a grant of find themselves hopelessly outclassed power. I t reverses the whole theory and a t the mercy of those on whoin upon which our Constitution is based. they may have imposed. Such insta- I t removes the barriers and grants to bility in dealing with the vital ques- the Legislsture substantially free tion of taxation can only result in power to deal with the complicated harm to the fair NAME o i our state subject of taxation in any manner and internal confusion. that pleases those who happen to be THIS IS NOT A CLASSIFICA- elected to any Legislature. TION AMENDMENT. It will actu- Here are some of the limitations ally operate to remove from the Con- the amendment would strike from stitution all restrictions upon the the Constitution,-"All property in the legislative power of taxation. The etate not exempt under the laws of amendment is silent as to what the the United States o r under this Con- basis of classification is or may be. stitution shall be taxed in proportion We have prospered under the pres- to its value, to be as6ertained as pro- ent Constitution for nearly forty Argument Agaiwst Proposed Amemdmemt to State Colzstitzctioa years, so we can safely wait to go see that the ofacere you elect spend about this in the right way instead less money. of granting the Legislature all t h i ~ Study this matter from all of itr Dower. angles. Do not be led astray by ia1.e Most of the defects now complained assertions as to need for change. of can be cured by enforcing the laws Look for the amendment on the we already have. This amendment ballot and vote- cannot help us any in that rwpect. AGAINST THE AMENDMENT What we must have is less need of J. T. S. LYLE. taxes. The way to reduce taxes is to Tacoma, Wash. STATE O F WASHINGTON-68. Filed in the omce of Secretary of State. March 1 0 , 1 9 2 7 . J. GRANT HINKLE,8ecretat-y 07 Btate. ARGUMENT FOR THE AMENDMENT Vote for t h e Amendment. It Permits t h e Taxing of W e ~ l t h Now Escaping and the Relieving of Land, Farms and Homes of Present Excessive Taxes. Under the Constitution of our state by the National Tax Association in all property must be assessed a t a 1911. I t would permit the classifi- uniform and equal percentage of its cation of property for taxation by value, and the rate of taxation levied the legislature, without which a sci- thereon must be uniform and equal. entific and commonsense revision of Experience: Experience has dem- OUT revenue laws is impossible. I t onstrated that this provision cannot makes no other change in the Con- be complied with; that all property stitution. cannot be taxed alike. Land is im- Since 1908, when this amendment movable and is taxed where situated, Was formerly submitted, the intang- regardless of the residence of the ible wealth of the state has in- owner. The owner of bonds can move creased to immense proportions, and out of the state and take his bonds the tax burden on land has more with him, and would do so if bonds than doubled. were assessed and taxed a t the same Since then, sixteen states have rate as land. adopted this identical amendment. Evasion: Realizing this fact, the Since then, every Tax Commission Legislature, pending an amendment to serving the State of Washington in- the Constitution, declared that bonds cluding the Present commission has and other intangibles are not prop- urged such a n amendment. The erty for the purpose of taxation. Hart Tax Investigating Committee ~~d now the state of washington authorized by the 1921 Session, and is the only state in the Union and the consisting of the following members, only government in the world where Such wealth cannot lawfully be taxed. NATHAN ECKSTEIN, Seattle, Chairman. One-half of State's Wealth Es- C. W. 17?r0HP, Spokane- capes Taxes: The result is that ". W.ROBERTSON, Yakima. wealth represented by intangibles in PETER McGREGOR$ Hooper. the form of bonds, notes, etc., now S. B. L.PENROSE, amounting to about one-half of the ALEX Hoquiam. wealth of the state, pays nothing M. Tacoma. toward the cost of local government, FRAm D. OAKLEy, and practically the whole burden HARLIN, thereof falls on land. REEVES AYLMORE, JR., Seattle, Sec'y. One million dollars may be invested recommended an amendment in foreign bonds and be untaxed, but and suggested the identical language if invested in orlr own land or in used in the pending amendment. merchandise will be taxed $100 a day, Remarkable Record: The bill sub- o r $36,500 a year in our large cities. mitting this amendment received the Confiscation: Land is not only ex- support of three-fourths of the mem- cessively taxed but it is being con- bers of the House and the unanimous fiscated by taxation. Relief must support of the senate except one come from some source. Means must absent member against the opposi- be found of making all forms of tion of one of the strongest lobbies wealth bear some share of the burden ever assembled in Olympia. of government. Thirty Other States: The consti- The Remedy: The means must be tutions of some thirty states now per- found in new tax laws, and the first mit of classification, including such step is to remove the senseless and conservative states as Delaware, Ken- unscientific restrictions on the action tucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachu- of our legislative bodies contained setts, Missouri, New York, Pennsyl- in our state constitution, and that vania, Rhode Island and Virginia. is the object of the proposed amend- The Federal Government uses ment. classification in all of its forms of It substitutes for the inflexible pro- taxation. vision above mentioned, the follow- The Supreme Court of the United ing: "All t a x e s shall be uniform States said: "A system which im- upon t h e same class of property." poses the same tax upon every spe- This wording was recommended cies of property, irrespective of itcl ( 6 ) Argunze~tFor Proposed Amemdmemt to Xtate Comstitzltiom nature, condition, or class, will be which the cost of government will be destructive of uniformity and equal- shared by all the members of society, ity in taxation." and more revenue can be raised with Lower Taxes Possible: The pro- less cause for complaint, and the posed amendment will not in itself taxes of the farm owner, the home lower taxes, and i t does not purport owner, and the land owner, under to do so. Its passage will open the the new system can be materially re- way for substantial reductions to the duced. taxpayers of this state. I t has the opposition of those per- Industries can be encouraged by sons and of those interests who are tax concessions. unfair beneficia-ririss under the pres- Provision can be made for the re- ent system, but i t should have the forestation of logged-off lands. support of everyone willing to pay Investments in bonds and notes his or her fair share of the cost of secured by property within the state the government under which they can be encouraged, while the send- live and whose protection and advan- ing of our own money outside of the tages they enjoy. state can be discouraged. - sY Legislative Power: State Consti- The State of Wa.shington has the tutions should embody fundamental most antiquated tax system in the principles only, and not details. The United States, under which almost legislature should be trusted to deal the entire burden of the cost of gov- with them. I t is now entrusted with ernment falls on real property. matters of life and death. I t can im- Special interests and tax dodgers pose or abolish death penalties. It favored under the present unjust sys- can abolish marriage, make divorce tem and their paid propagandists op- impossible, escheat estates of dece- pose this measure, but its passage is dents in whole or in part, and it is essential to the future prosperity of called upon to act on bills affecting this state. Do not be deceived by man from birth to death, and his es- their propaganda or false alarms. tate after death. Why should classi- The constitutions of thirty states of fication of property for taxation be the Union permit classification, and set apart as something sacred, with the principle has worked everywhere which t h 6 legislature cannot be when tried. trusted to deal? This measure is the only tax re- Lobbyists: There always have lief proposed. been lobbyists a t the sessions of our Vote for the Constitutional Legislature, and always will be, Amendment to classify property, and whether this amendment carries or help remedy our tax system and not. Lobbying is no worse in the bring prosperity to this state. states where property is classified k S. GOSS, Master. Washington State than in those where it is not. The Grange. strongest lobbies in this state have J. W. WHEELER, Past President, Pacifio been maintained by the railroad and Northwest Real Estate Assoclat!on. power companies which oppose this L. S. BOOTH, Chairman, Committee on measure. They are special benefi- State Taxation, National Real Estate ciaries under the present laws, and Boards. . do not want them changed. LESTER P. EDGE, Spokane. Legislator. False Hope: Economy in govern- DIO RICH,ARDSON, Chairman, Taxation ment should always be strived for Cbmmlttee, Washington Education under any system of taxation, but it Association. will not bring about an equitable dis- WASHINGTON TAX EQUALIZATION COUXCIL : By FRANK C. JACKSON, tribution of the burden and it is be- Secretary. ing urged now with the deliberate purpose of diverting the voters from STATE OF WASHINGTON-44s. the support of this measure. Filed in the office of Secretary of Stat6 Real Hope: This amendment will July 14, 1928. open the way for new laws under J..GRANT HINKLE, Secretary of State. PROPOSED AMENDMENT HARMFUL AND DANGEROUS Proponente Argue False, Kot Real Issues. True Purpose of Amendment Discl~sed. Amendment Wonld Not Permit Taxing New Wealth, But Wonld Open Door to Tax Laws Fostered by Special Interest Lobbies and Political Cliques, Unfair to Farmers, Home Owners and Other Property Owners. Concerning Experience: The advo- ment assessments that the payment catea of the proposed amendment of the local improvement assessments seek to divert attention from its lack (regardless of general taxes) was not of merit by raising false issues. Tax justified. revision should be constructive, not Of the farm mortgages foreclosed destructive, and you will vote on this by the Federal Land Baak of Spo- measure by considering what it will kane, which serves Washington, Ore- or will not do. gon, Idaho and Montana, nearly one- Regarding Evasion: Advocates half in amount were in Montana, and seek to make i t appear that the that state taxes intangibles and has amendment's sole purpose is to pro- classification. vide for taxation of intangibles and Proposed Amendment Not a Rem- thus to divert attention from its true edy: Taxes are too high, but this purpose. IT WILL NOT PERMIT propo~ec:amendment is no remedy. THE TAXATION OF INTANGIBLES. I t will not produce new revenue. I t Our Supreme Court has held that will not relieve the burden of taxes "intangibles are not property," hence on property. I t will not relieve the intangibles cannot be taxed if the burden of taxes on farmers and home amendment passes. Intangibles owners. should be taxed. The opponents of the I t will make taxation the football pending amecdment tried to secure of politics a t every session of the a n amendment specifically providing Legislature. for the taxation of intangibles, but were prevented by the very men who I t is not true that the National Tax now urge the approval of the pro- Association Committee of 1 9 1 1 nor posed amendment. the Hart Tax Investigating Commit- The best legal opinions say that, tee recommended the UNLIMITED with proper legislation and effective CLASSIFICATION proposed by this administration, every form of wealth amendment. I t is not true that six- within the State may be taxed under teen State Constitutions contain the our present Constitution except in- identical language of the proposed tangibles. The advocates of the pro- amendment. There is BUT ONE. posed amendment defeated an effort WHAT ABOUT THAT REMARK- to make intangibles taxable. ABLE RECORD? The proponents Does One-Half the State's Wealth of this proposed amendment led some Escape Taxes? Much of the wealth of the members of the 1 9 2 7 Legisla- now escaping taxes can be taxed if ture, and are now trying to lead the the Legislature and the people wish people, to Selieve that this amend- i t taxed, and if the present tax laws ment would give the Legislature are fairly and courageously adminis- power to tax intangibles. Other tered. legislators were influenced by dis- The claim that intangibles make agreements that had arisen over other up one-half the State's wealth is legislation. I t was a case of barter- false. What the amount may be is and-trade, and that will be the rule unknown. The proposed amendment with every tax proposal if the amend- would not permit taxing any intan- ment passes. The best trader will gibles. get the best treatment. About Confiscation: City lots which What Thirty States? Ask the ad- have been sold for taxes have been vocates of this proposed amendment so heavily loaded with local improve- to show you the Constitutions of Proposed Amendment Harmful and Dalzgerozcs - t h i r t y states containing this identical brokers lobbying f o r laws t h a t will provision. There is ONLY ONE, advance their own selfish interests Minnesota. Minnesota is now seek- at t h e expense of farmers and home ing a new constitutional amendment. owners, who will be left t o flght their T h a t s t a t e is i n a s much trouble over own battles. i t s tax problem a s i t was before i t W h a t A r e "False" a n d What adopted classification. b8Real" Hopes? By calling "economy L'How" Lower Taxes by This i n government" a "false hope" t h e Amendment? Advocates of this pro- proponents suggest a desire f o r posed amendment say t h a t i t would "more money t o spend." They say: open t h e door t o substantial t a x re- "This amendment opens t h e way f o r ductions. HOW? They suggest t h e new t a x laws under which more rev- exemption of some properties a n d enue c a n be raised." I n another p a r t t h e making of t a x concessions t o of their a r g u m e n t they say: "Its pas- others. No new revenue will be sage will open t h e way f o r substan- forthcoming, s o a t a x concession t o tial reductions to taxpayers." With t h e one class will add t o t h e tax burden one statement they hope t o catch t h e of others. The partial exemption of TAXPAYERS' votes a n d with t h e city property would add to the tax bur- o t h e r t o catch t h e "TAXEATER" den of f a r m property. T h e partial votes. exemption of f a r m property (al- Summary: Every a r g u m e n t ad- though this is politically impossible vanced by t h e proponents has been with f a r m population i n t h e minor- fully and frankly answered. The t r u e ity) would a d d t o t h e t a x burden of purpose behind this amendment h a s t h e home owners. been exposed. Legislative P o w e r Too Broad: This proposed amendment is a T H E PROPOSED AMENDMENT GRANT O F UNLIMITED POWER W I L L NOT REDUCE TAXES. I T a n d not a LIMITATION. I t em- W I L L NOT PERMIT T H E TAXA- powers a bare majority of any Legis- TION O F INTANGIBLES OR O F l a t u r e t o create favored classes with- o u t a n y reference t o o r consideration ANY PROPERTY THAT CANNOT of fundamental principles of justice NOW B E TAXED. I T W I L L NOT a n d equity. RELIEVE T H E FARMERS AND More Lobbyists Wanted by Pro- HOME OWNERS. ponents: The advocates assert t h a t I T W I L L CREATE LEGISLATIVE i n t h e past lobbyists have been able t o secure favors f o r special interests CHAOS, INSTABLE TAX LAWS, even with t h e present safeguards a n d ENCOURAGE "SPECIAL INTER- limitations, yet they ask for a scheme EST" LOBBIES CLAMORING FOR t h a t will remove every safeguard SPECIAL FAVORS. against these "special interests'" lob- byists. IT I S HARMFUL AND DESTRUC- Some farmers a n d home owners TIVE. may be misled into voting f o r this VOTE AGAINST IT. amendment by t h e representations of a few real estate brokers who a r e i t s (Signed) FRED K. JONES, President original sponsors a n d advocates. If Taxpayers' Economy League of Spokane. it passes, t h e farmers a n d home own- Past President Paciflc Northwest Real e r s will find these same real estate Estate Association. STATE OF WASHINGTON-ss. Filed in the oface of Secretary of State, August 4, 1928. J. GRANT HINKLE, Secretary of Btate.
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