Initiative 1366, sponsored by Tim Eyman, is a citizen’s initiative for the Nov 2015 Election. It is a refiling of Initiative 1325 from 2014 which Eyman failed to get enough signatures on to qualify. Here are a couple of comments from last year about this proposal.
Spokesman Review – Jan. 10, 2014 Editorial – “Eyman’s Tax Initiative Looking for a Problem”
Tim Eyman has a new idea, his worst ever, and that’s saying something.
The watch salesman turned initiative promoter submitted a proposal to the Washington Secretary of State on Monday that would compel the Legislature to enact and pass along to voters a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote by state lawmakers or voters on any tax increase.
Initiative 1325 would cut the state sales tax rate to 5.5 percent from 6.5 percent. The change would reduce annual revenues by about $1 billion. But the reduction would not occur if the Legislature endorses the amendment by April 15, 2015.
In other words, the initiative puts a $1 billion gun to the head of legislators.
Eyman calls the incentive “oomph.” Blackmail is more like it.
This is not about protecting taxpayers. I-1325 is about keeping Eyman in business.
Crosscut, Feb 6, 2014 – “A 2/3 vote for tax bumps? Tim Eyman will rise again” – article on a vote by the Legislature for a constitutional amendment for a 2/3 vote for revenue to be placed on the ballot. It received a vote of 25 to 21, far short of the 2/3 needed to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.
“Minority Democrats countered that the Legislature struggled to meet financial requirements when the two-thirds requirement was in effect. They unsuccessfully tried to remove the two-thirds requirements to close tax breaks and to allow majority approval of some fund transfers covered by the supermajority requirement in Roach’s bill. The Democratic attempts failed.
Also, Democrats pointed to the need to comply with a 2012 Supreme Court ruling to upgrade education and to restore a frequently suppressed voters initiative to provide cost-of-living increases to teachers.
Democratic Senate budget chief James Hargrove of Hoquiam noted that it took two extra special sessions in 2013 to close two tax breaks to balance the state budget — with a simple majority rule in place. He said 17 senators — 12 percent of the entire Legislature — could hold the budget hostage in order to get their pet bills passed. “It’s called the rule of 17, a super-minority,” said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent.
From the Washington State Secretary of State’s website:
Initiative Measure No. 1366 concerns state taxes and fees.
This measure would decrease the sales tax rate unless the legislature refers to voters a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes, and legislative approval for fee increases.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Ballot Measure Summary
This measure would decrease the state retail sales tax rate on April 15, 2016, from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent. The sales tax rate would not be decreased if, by April 15, 2016, two-thirds of both legislative houses refer to the ballot a vote on a constitutional amendment that requires two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes, and majority legislative approval to set the amount of a fee increase.
View Complete Text PDF
Initiative 1366 is an Ted Cruz style of coercion measure, threatening to remove $1 billion a year in revenue from the state budget. It would severely cripple funding for education in this state. It is a libertarian ant- government, anti-tax initiative intended to lock in tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy and severely limit funding of public services by requiring a 2/3 vote to raise revenue or repeal tax loopholes.
Do not sign or support or vote for Initiative 1366!
Posted in Democrats, Elections, Initiatives, Republicans, Tax Exemptions, Washington State Legislature
Tagged 2/3 vote for taxes, I-1325, I-1366, Initiative 1325, Initiative 1366, Libetarian Anti Tax Anti Government, Tim Eyman, Washington State Legislature
Initiative 1366 is another Washington State initiative attempt by libertarian Tim Eyman to help the wealthy and corporate America avoid taxes and tax reform. With the most regressive tax structure in the country it is a blatant attempt to prevent the Legislature from engaging in tax reform or eliminating tax exemptions that do not benefit the state or its citizens. It proposes to use an extortion tactic reminiscent of Senator Ted Cruz’s trying to shut down the Federal government to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
I-1366 would eliminate $1 billion in sales taxes per year from the state budget if the Legislature does not vote to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for a vote. Eyman’s proposed amendment would require a 2/3 vote by the Legislature to raise taxes or eliminate tax exemptions.
Eyman is not able to secure anywhere near the required 2/3 vote required by the Washington State Legislature to normally put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. So he is attempting this extortion tactic which requires only a majority vote of the public to reduce the sales tax by a billion dollars unless the Legislature takes a 2/3 vote and puts his “corporate tax loophole preservation amendment” on the ballot.
Something just stinks about this sort of extortion style tactics to get what you want rather than following the normal political process. Eyman of course is trying to sell this to low and middle income voters as a way to keep their taxes low. The problem is that the reverse takes place. Washington State has the most regressive tax structure in the country according to a 2015 report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
The ITEP report states that the lowest 20% of income earners (non-elderly) making less than $21,000 pay 16.8% of their income in state and local taxes. Meanwhile the wealthiest top 1% earning over $507,000 pay only 2.4% of their income in state and local taxes.
This is not the first year that Washington State held this distinction but it is an ongoing one because for many years Washington state has had a 2/3 vote requirement to raise revenue as well as repeal non-performing tax exemptions. Raising revenue as defined also includes the legislature changing a revenue source even if the overall revenue raised is neutral. This has made tax reform extremely difficult.
The 2/3 vote requirement first put in place by Initiative 601 in 1993, suspended several times and re-enacted several times by initiative until finally ruled unconstitutional in 2013 by the Washington State Supreme Court. The court declared that the 2/3 voting requirement to raise revenue violated Article II, Section 22 of the Washington State Constitution which stated that for a bill to become law it needed a majority vote.
Eyman uses the fear of tax increases by the legislature on those hurting the most by the regressive tax structure of our state. This fear recently saw another defeat of an income tax initiative – I-1098 which would have shifted more taxes to the wealthy and reduced the regressiveness of our state’s tax structure.
Voters need to understand that 2/3 vote requirements like Eyman is proposing help the wealthy and corporations the most. They allow a minority of 1/3 of the Legislators in either Legislative house who are anti – government anti- tax to overrule a majority of Legislators that want both to enact a fairer tax system and also fund public services like educating our children and helping the needy. Eyman is motivated by an anti-tax anti-government libertarian agenda that puts wealth accumulation and concentration in the hands of a few. There is no trickle down – it is more like a waterspout with only the rich having the buckets to collect the money.
Don’t sign I-1366 and if it gets on the ballot vote NO. Support tax reform to help end wealth inequality and tax regressiveness. Support raising the minimum wage. Don’t enact a law like I-1366 which will take a billion dollars out of funding for state education for our kids. Don’t support passing legislation like I-1366 which helps corporations keep their tax loopholes and the wealthy pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than low and middle income earners.
Posted in Economy, Initiatives, Republicans, Tax Exemptions, Washington State Legislature
Tagged 2/3 vote for taxes, 2/3 vote unconstuitutional, constitutional amendment, Initiative 1366, Initiative 601, Tim Eyman, Washington State Legislature