Proposed by Tim Eyman and a host of conservative allies in the opening days of last winter’s legislative session, this proposal seeks to undo what conservatives believed, correctly, the Democrat-controlled Legislature was about to do: Remove the supermajority needed to increase taxes. The two-thirds majority was suspended through mid-2013 and a series of tax increases were passed to help balance the budget; if I-1053 passes, that supermajority again will be needed for any tax increase, at least for two years, while state law makes amending initiatives more difficult.
Now can we soak the rich? How about just dampening the hems of their gowns?
Washington voters removed some taxes and made it tougher for the Legislature to create new ones, but seemed to turn down plans to privatize some state services. Idaho voters passed a string of changes to the state’s bonding rules designed to help hospitals, airports and other public projects. And Spokane voters turned thumbs down to Proposition 1, a plan to raise $5 million per year to help fight high school dropout rates.
Washington voters have a near record number of initiatives on this fall’s ballot, giving them choices on raising taxes, paying taxes, buying liquor and providing for workers’ industrial insurance. Here’s a look at the tax policy ballot measures.
Washington voters may be experiencing initiative overload this year with a near-record number of ballot measures. They can stage a “tax revolt” by lifting new taxes imposed by the Legislature in April or reinstate a two-thirds supermajority for any tax increase. They can also impose an income tax on people who make more than $200,000.
Three initiatives that would change the state’s tax policies – instituting an income tax, dropping a series of consumer taxes or requiring supermajorities to pass new taxes – have more support than opposition among voters, a new poll by Elway Research Inc. indicates. But none has a majority of voters saying they’d vote yes if they were casting ballots right now. Neither do the other three initiatives placed on the ballot by petition drives – two that would end the state’s ownership of liquor stores and another that would change the system for compensating injured workers.
OLYMPIA – Washington voters will likely have six initiatives on the November ballot dealing with taxes, booze and workers’ comp. They could repeal some of the recent consumer taxes on soda, bottled water and candy; levy an income tax on people who make more than $200,000 a year; and restore a supermajority requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes.