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Washington Advisory Tax Vote Guides Could Cost $240K

Washington Secretary of State

Washington’s fall voters’ guide may be 20 pages longer and cost nearly $250,000 more to publish. That’s because of a voter-approved requirement that all tax hikes appear on the ballot for an advisory vote. This year there will be five of these non-binding ballot measures.

Katie Blinn is with Washington’s Secretary of State. She says each advisory vote requires four pages in the voters’ pamphlet. “Certainly while providing more information to the public is good and a benefit to the public, there is a cost to that because additional pages have additional printing costs.”

The bulk of the printing cost is to list each lawmaker, their contact information and how they voted on each tax measure. The Secretary of State’s office is looking for ways to reduce the number of pages required.

Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman sponsored the ballot measures that require the advisory votes. He says the printing costs are a small price to pay compared to the cost of the tax increases over ten years.

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."