2004 Online Voters' Guide: Measures

Vote.Wa.Gov » 2004 Voters' Guide Home » Measures » Arguements For & Against






« Back

INITIATIVE MEASURE 892
AUTHORIZING ADDITIONAL ELECTRONIC SCRATCH TICKET MACHINES

Note: The ballot title was written by the Court and the explanatory statement was written by the Attorney General as required by law. The Fiscal Impact Statement was written by the Office of Financial Management.

BALLOT TITLE

Initiative Measure No. 892 concerns authorizing additional “electronic scratch ticket machines” to reduce property taxes.

This measure would authorize licensed non-tribal gambling establishments to operate the same type and number of machines as tribal governments, with a portion of tax revenue generated used to reduce state property taxes.

Should this measure be enacted into law?

Yes [ ] No [ ]

ARGUMENT FORARGUMENT AGAINST

TAXPAYERS PAID $1 BILLION IN PROPERTY TAXES IN 1980 – WE PAID $6.25 BILLION IN 2003

That six-fold increase is obscene and unsustainable. Property taxes will continue skyrocketing unless voters say “enough.” I-892 substantially lowers property taxes for citizens without costing government a penny. It’s a win-win revenue-neutral tax cutting initiative. Washington is the 7th highest taxed state in the nation (www.taxfoundation.org) – I-892 keeps us from hitting #1.

WORKING CLASS FOLKS, ESPECIALLY STRUGGLING FIXED-INCOME SENIOR CITIZENS, SHOULDN’T BE TAXED OUT OF THEIR HOMES

I-892 imposes a 35% user fee on electronic scratch ticket machines, using these new revenues – $400 million per year – to substantially lower property taxes. Currently, these machines aren’t taxed. I-892 allows existing non-tribal establishments to compete with the tribes (who don’t pay taxes), levels the playing field, and substantially lowers property taxes without costing government a penny.

THESE STATE-REGULATED, LICENSED, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED TAXPAYING BUSINESSES AND NON-PROFITS SIMPLY WANT TO COMPETE

Opponents’ main objection is I-892 “expands gambling.” Wrong. I-892 only allows existing non-tribal establishments (not grocery stores or 7-Elevens – only gambling licensees with 21 and older customers) to compete with the tribes who already offer these same machines. So I-892 authorizes nothing new – it just gives the fixed number of people who play these machines a different place to go. I-892 doesn’t “take away” from the tribes – it only requires them to compete.

“JUST TREAT US THE SAME” I-892 ADVOCATES A PRINCIPLE WE ALL BELIEVE IN: EQUAL TREATMENT

Government shouldn’t discriminate or give preferential treatment to citizens based on their group affiliation. I-892 requires equal treatment of non-tribal and tribal establishments. That’s fair. I-892 provides permanent funding, which doesn’t exist now, for problem gambling. I-892 is a balanced, reasonable proposal which allows competition, levels the playing field, and substantially lowers property taxes ($400 million annually) without costing government a penny. Politicians never reduce taxes. Vote “Yes.”

For more information, call 425-493-8707 or visit www.JustTreatUsTheSame.com .

I-892 is a bad bet for Washington. Gambling would double – as would the social problems associated with gambling. Washington would be in the same gambling league as big casino states like Nevada, Mississippi and New Jersey.

ELECTRONIC SCRATCH TICKET MACHINES ARE REALLY ELECTRONIC SLOT MACHINES

The ballot title says “electronic scratch ticket machines,” but don’t be deceived. I-892 legalizes Las Vegas-style electronic slot machines.

I-892 would allow 18,000 new slot machines in 2,000 neighborhood restaurants, bowling alleys, bingo halls, card rooms and other establishments.

I-892 WOULD BRING ELECTRONIC SLOT MACHINES INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOODS AND WOULD HURT SMALL BUSINESSES

Las Vegas-style gambling would be allowed near schools, malls, libraries, churches and other areas where children gather.

Cities that ban most gambling could find their laws over-ridden and slot machines in their neighborhood establishments.

Gambling hurts small businesses when consumers spend money at casinos instead of at neighborhood shops and restaurants.

ELECTRONIC SLOT MACHINES HURT KIDS AND FAMILIES

Kids pay the consequences when parents suffer from gambling addictions.

Experts say that expanding gambling opportunities increases the number of problem gamblers.

Domestic violence, child neglect, divorce, theft, and substance abuse are strongly associated with problem gambling.

I-892 PROFITS OUT-OF-STATE GAMBLING COMPANIES, BUT IT WOULD COST WASHINGTON TAXPAYERS MILLIONS

Foreign and out-of-state gambling corporations are promoting I-892 and would reap huge profits.

Taxpayers would foot the bill for the millions associated with increased crime, bankruptcies, and treatment of gambling addictions.

We already have more than enough gambling opportunities in Washington. It’s time to say “no” to the big gambling interests. Our quality of life is at stake.

I-892 is a bad bet for Washington. It’s bad for kids, bad for families, bad for neighborhoods, bad for taxpayers, bad for small businesses. Vote no on I-892.

REBUTTAL OF ARGUMENT AGAINSTREBUTTAL OF ARGUMENT FOR

Skyrocketing property taxes are obscene and unsustainable – I-892 provides long-overdue relief. Opponents have no alternative. They’re only offering threats, lies, and scare tactics. I-892 substantially lowers property taxes ($400 million annually) without costing government a penny – it’s revenue-neutral. Tribes are spending multi-millions from their government-protected monopoly to maintain their unfair advantage. I-892 means equal treatment, competition, and a more level playing field. I-892 provides permanent funding for problem gambling. Politicians never reduce taxes. Vote “Yes.”

I-892 is built on deception. It says “electronic scratch ticket machines,” but it means slot machines in neighborhoods.

Gambling always over-promises and under-delivers. Remember - the Lottery was supposed to pay for education?

I-892 claims that taxpayers will save, but sends most of the profits out-of-state. The gambling companies take a 65% profit, while the problems stay here. After administration and problem gambling costs, who knows what will be left for a tax cut?

ARGUMENT PREPARED BYARGUMENT PREPARED BY
ERMA TURNER, beauty shop owner, gathered 1781 signatures, Cle Elum; ERIC PHILLIPS, hiker, label company owner, gathered 1702 signatures, Everett; ANDRE GARIN, retired Post Office, father, gathered 1642 signatures, Vancouver; JACK FAGAN, retired policeman, retired Navy, grandfather, campaign organizer, Spokane; MIKE FAGAN, small businessman, community leader, father, campaign organizer, Spokane; TIM EYMAN, $30 car tab guy, taxpayer advocate, Yakima / Mukilteo.REV. JOHN BOONSTRA, Executive Director, Washington Association of Churches; JEAN GODDEN, former PTA leader and journalist; JOHN LADENBURG, Pierce County Executive, former prosecutor; NORM MALENG, King County Prosecutor; SID MORRISON, Yakima farmer and businessman, former member of Congress; SHARON TOMIKO SANTOS, Asian community leader, State Representative, 37th Legislative District.

Washington Secretary of State
520 Union Avenue SE, PO BOX 40220, OLYMPIA WA 98504-0220
(360) 902-4151