The Capitol Record

Eyman proposes new initiative to limit tax increases to one year

Tim Eyman

Voter initiative activist Tim Eyman released plans Monday for another attempt to require a two-thirds majority for the Legislature to raise taxes. This time he wants to change the state’s constitution.

In February the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that initiative 1185, which required the Legislature to have a two-thirds supermajority to implement any new tax hikes, was unconstitutional.

“When we tried to do it with 1185, they said we would need to make an amendment to the constitution to make it happen. So that’s what we’re doing,” Eyman said Monday.

Under the proposal, sent in an email to the governor, legislators and Eyman supporters throughout the state, the new initiative would mandate:

  •  Advisory votes every November asking voters if they support a two-thirds majority to raise taxes as a constitutional amendment.
  • Any new tax increases the Legislature adopts would be limited to one year.
  • Voters’ pamphlets would be required to include information about the governor’s and legislators’ voting records on tax increases under their picture.

The initiative also includes an escape clause to nullify these three policies if state legislators put a two-thirds constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters to decide on.

Eyman said he expects the difficulty of getting the more than 300,000 signatures required to get the proposal on a ballot by November will likely depend a great deal on what legislators do at the end of the current session.

“If they go nuts with tax increases over the next couple weeks, that will probably make it easier,” Eyman said. “If you don’t want the beehive to get upset, don’t kick it.”

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