I-1185 Passes-Will It Finally Force 2/3 Majority In Olympia In Order To Raise Taxes?
Part of our continuing series Decision 2012-Where Do We Go From Here-takes a look at Initiative 1185, which (again) would force the state legislature to have a majority to raise our taxes. Why was this measure on the ballot? Tim Eyman, the noted anti-tax advocate, was able to get I-1185 on the ballot. It is often referred to as 'son of I-1053, a similar bill passed in 2010 but is under legal challenge. Simply, I-1185 requires at least 66% or 2/3rds of legislators to pass or levy new taxes on Washington residents.
Most citizens would think this was a good thing, seeing how Washington state has some of the highest taxes in many areas in the state. However, three previous times, Initiatives that were passed by Washington voters were struck down by judges as unconstitutional.
Supporters say Olympia is being unresponsive to the demands of the people and voters, those who oppose such initiatives say it would make it difficult-if not impossible-for the legislature to pass necessary taxes to support schools, programs and other infrastructure.
What is likely to happen is I-1185 will meet with a similar legal challenge. Governor Gregoire had challenged I-1053, and similar measures throughout her tenure. Where does newly elected Governor Jay Inslee stand? While no "official" comment has been made by Inslee fresh off his close victory over Rob McKenna, a check of the official No-On I-1185 website lists the following supporters who were against the measure.
Governor Christine Gregoire
Senator Adam Kline
Rep. Reuven Carlyle
Rep. Bob Hasegawa
Rep. Chris Reykdal
Senator Dave Frockt
Rep. Sam Hunt