War and taxes

WILL OSAMA bin Laden's jihad trump Tim Eyman's tax- cutting crusade?

With the U.S. at war, government services seem more imperative, which could spell defeat at the ballot box for state Initiative 747, tax-slashing Eyman's latest shot across the bow of bureaucracy.

John Wyble of Seattle political consultants Moxie Media isn't working for the No on I-747 campaign, but he can predict their strategy for the Nov. 6 election. "I think we're going to see patriotism and fire engines, all mixed into one nice soup," he says.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial cartoonist David Horsey provided a preview last Sunday, with a drawing depicting I-747 as a saw cutting a hole in the floor under a policeman, a fireman, and a female paramedic. The initiative would limit non-voter-approved property-tax increases to 1 percent annually (from the current allowable 6 percent) and is being strenuously opposed by elected officials and public employees' unions. "It should be a climate—given what's happened in the last few weeks—that's really good for folks who are supporting police and fire," says Wyble.

Another potential beneficiary is King County's Medic One paramedic service, which faces a vote on a six-year extension of its property-tax levy.

James Bush jbush@seattleweekly.com

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