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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Eyman Proposes Yearly Votes On Super Majority Tax Rule

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Austin Jenkins
/
Northwest News Network

It’s been nearly two months since the Washington Supreme Court tossed out a voter-approved two-thirds requirement for tax hikes. Monday anti-tax activist Tim Eyman proposed an initiative he describes as a “lobbying tool” to bring back the super majority rule.

Eyman’s proposal would require annual advisory votes asking the public if it wants the legislature to enshrine the two-thirds threshold into the state constitution. He says, “The voters have said over and over and over and over and over again that they want this policy, but the Supreme Court said ‘you’ve gotta get the legislature to do a two-thirds for taxes constitutional amendment, that’s the only way you can do it.’ So we’re doing exactly what they told us we needed to do.”

Eyman’s initiative would also sunset all tax increases after one year, unless they were previously approved by voters. And candidates for re-election who vote for taxes would have that information printed alongside their picture in the voters’ pamphlet.

Eyman would not say when he plans to try to run this initiative. To make this November’s ballot, the deadline is July 5th for initiative sponsors to collect nearly 250,000 valid voter signatures.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."