Why do firefighters and Slade Gorton oppose I-747? Because when tax revenues that support basic public services fall well below the rate of inflation, money to pay for services will not keep up with public need. What are these services that the public needs and demands? Fire protection, emergency health response, local road maintenance and improvement, hospital emergency room access, jails, courts, libraries and school districts, to name a few. Which hospitals will close? Which schools will have to once again cut staff, books, and supplies? Which criminals will be turned loose because we can’t afford to prosecute them or keep them locked up?
Take a drive to California to witness some of the benefits of 22 years of tax reduction: highways that are falling apart, high risk and ineffective public schools, high levels of crime, privately owned fire protection companies contracted by homeowners, and user fees for emergency medical responses to accidents and heart attacks. The California-styled I-747 will throw out the baby with the bath water. No one likes to pay taxes, but the alternative is chaos and we have seen enough chaos recently to last a lifetime.
In light of the daunting tasks that we expect of our firefighters, police officers, teachers and public health officials, our public servants deserve the best that we can give them, not reductions in wages and resources. In the State of Washington, we can show them our support by voting no on I-747.