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Government and Politics

Washington High Court Expected To Rule On Supermajority Votes For Tax Hikes


OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday in a case that challenges the two-thirds requirement for tax hikes. A lower court judge previously found the supermajority rule unconstitutional.

If the two-thirds majority for tax hikes which Washington voters have repeatedly approved -- most recently in November with nearly a two-thirds vote -- is thrown out by the court, then really the only remedy for supporters is to try to get a constitutional amendment passed to actually enshrine it in the constitution. That is no easy feat.

A constitutional amendment in Washington requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature plus ratification by the voters. There’s actually no guarantee the Washington Supreme Court will issue a bright line ruling. In past challenges to the supermajority rule, the high court said the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” to bring the case.