In Attempt To Resurrect Anti-Tax Rule, Eyman Files Measure With Costly Caveat

Jan 6, 2014

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman is kicking off the new year with a new initiative. 

Eyman's new ballot proposal aims to resurrect the requirement that tax hikes get a two-thirds majority in the Legislature or be referred to the people. And this time, Eyman has designed a hammer to get the Legislature to act.

Last year, the Washington Supreme Court tossed out Eyman’s two-thirds requirement for tax increases as unconstitutional — something Washington voters had repeatedly approved.

Now Eyman’s back with a creative proposal: cut the state sales tax by one penny if the Legislature rejects a constitutional amendment to bring back the super-majority rule, and sends the issue to the voters.

“Either they let us vote, which costs them nothing, or we get the largest tax cut in Washington state history,” he said.

A one-cent cut in the sales tax would amount to about $1 billion a year in lost revenue to the state. Eyman would need to gather nearly a quarter-million valid voter signatures to put his measure on this fall’s ballot.

The 2014 initiative season is also underway in Oregon. Measures on same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization and liquor privatization are all expected to qualify for the ballot. In Idaho, there are proposed ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage and allow medical marijuana.