Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 53° Cloudy

Spin Control

Latest Eyman initiative will be on November ballot

OLYMPIA -- Initiative impresario Tim Eyman's latest effort to make it harder for the Legislature to raise taxes will be on the fall ballot.

State election officials said Wednesday Initiative 1366 has more than enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, and will join Initiative 1401, which would give added protections to certain endangered species.

I-1366 attempts to force the Legislature to send voters a constitutional amendment that would require super-majorities from each chamber to approve any new tax increase. The initiative is sponsored by Voters Want More Choices, an organization operated by Eyman and two associates from Spokane, Mike Fagan and Jack Fagan. 

Voters have approved previous initiatives by Eyman’s organization that demanded super-majorities in the Legislature for new taxes. But the Supreme Court threw out the most recent such initiative, saying that kind of change requires a constitutional amendment, which must originate in the Legislature not with the initiative process. A constitutional amendment must be passed with a two-thirds majority in each chamber, followed by voter approval with a simple majority.

Under I-1366, the Legislature would have to pass such an amendment by next April 15, or the state sales tax would drop from 6.5 cents to 5.5 cents on the dollar. That would cut state revenue by about $1 billion per year.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

Follow Jim online: