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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's Tax-Limiting I-1366 Leads In Early Returns

Phyllis Fletcher
Northwest News Network
Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman sends an email before he speaks to reporters at a north Seattle Krispy Kreme donut shop.

In early returns, Washington voters were favoring professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman’s latest tax-limiting initiative.

Initiative 1366 was leading with nearly 54 percent of the vote at 8:30 p.m., according to the Secretary of State’s election results website.

At a Krispy Kreme donut shop in north Seattle, Eyman told reporters this is the sixth time Washington voters had approved a super-majority requirement for tax hikes.

“I think it’s time once and for all for us to settle this debate with a two-thirds for taxes constitutional amendment vote," he said.

This initiative would reduce the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent unless lawmakers send voters a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature or a vote of the people to raise taxes.

Constitutional amendments in Washington require a two-thirds votes of the legislature and ratification by a simple majority of Washington voters

That decrease in the state sales tax would result in an estimated $8 billion loss of revenue over six years.

Eyman sponsored I-1366 after the Washington Supreme Court in 2013 tossed out as unconstitutional his previous voter-approved two-thirds requirement for tax hikes.