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Eye On Olympia

Initiatives you haven’t heard about yet…

Okay, so we haven’t even voted on the current crop of ballot measures (gas tax repeal, public smoking ban, doctor/lawyer fixes for malpractice woes, etc.)

But already, our mailbox and phone are heralding next year’s crop of direct democracy.

The list so far:
-Initiative pitchman/guru/gorilla Tim Eyman says he’ll launch a measure to do away with the $3.5 billion in new transportation taxes that this year’s anti-gas-tax measure wouldn’t touch. Things like an increase in motorhome registration fees, for example, and the new vehicle weight fees for small cars and trucks.
-Dennis Falk, whose Initiatve 402 abolished most of the state’s gift and inheritance tax 23 years ago, says now that the state has renewed its estate tax, he’ll be back with another measure to torpedo it.
-And then there are rumors among Seattle-area lawmakers of an initiative to require state gas-tax money to be spent in the same county where it’s collected. This would favor large counties like King and Spokane, but could cripple sprawling, sparsely populated counties throughout the state.

No sign yet of those hardy perennials: a state cap on credit card interest or a proposal to rename the state “Cascadia.”

Stay tuned.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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