2 ballot measures on the November ballot by us — voters get to vote …

by | Jun 30, 2014

Voters get to vote on the Legislature’s 2 tax increases 

         In 2007, voters passed our Initiative 960.  In 2012, voters renewed its policies by passing our Initiative 1185.  One of the initiatives’ protections guarantees the citizens’ right to vote on tax increases unilaterally imposed by the Legislature.

        Last Friday, the Attorney General determined that the 2014 Legislature imposed 2 tax increases.  That means there will be 2 measures on the November ballot:  Advisory Vote #8 (AV #8) and Advisory Vote #9 (AV #9).  You can view them here:  http://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVote/onlinevotersguide/Measures?language=en&electionId=54&countyCode=xx&ismyVote=False&electionTitle=2014%20General%20Election

         What are the best things about this policy?  First and foremost, I-1185’s tax advisory votes educate the voters on which taxes were increased and how much they’ll cost, allowing the voters’ pamphlet to serve as a tax increase report card.  Next, they give the voters the chance to tell legislators whether the people support or oppose each tax increase.  And best of all, each tax advisory vote requires 2 pages in the voters pamphlet listing how each legislator voted on each tax increase and their contact information.

           We wish the Legislature hadn’t imposed any tax increases this year.  But at least with AV #8 and AV #9, the voters will learn which taxes were increased, how much they’ll cost, identify which legislators voted yay and nay, and let the people express their support or opposition to each tax increase.

 

          What is the origin and rationale for this policy?  Our state Constitution gives the people the absolute guaranteed right to referendum which means the citizens are allowed to collect voter signatures and put on the ballot any bill that the Legislature passes into law.  In short, it gives voters the right to veto any bill.  Nonetheless, the Legislature has mastered the art of negating the people’s constitutional right to referendum by slapping “emergency clauses” on bills.  Emergency clauses make the bills “referendum proof.”   The most consistent example of this abuse involves bills raising taxes.

           It is a gross injustice that the Legislature routinely gets away with (there was the “emergency” gas tax increase in 2005, the “emergency” death tax in 2005, the “emergency” soda pop tax in 2010, the “emergency” candy tax in 2010).

        To address this egregious violation of our rights, the voters passed our Initiative 960.  Our first experience with I-960’s tax advisory votes happened in 2012.  The 2012 Legislature imposed 2 tax increases so Advisory Votes #1 and #2 appeared on the November 2012 ballot.  57% of voters rejected the bank tax and 55% of voters rejected the oil company tax.

         In 2012, almost 2/3 of voters approved our Initiative 1185 and it renewed this public vote requirement for tax increases.

         In 2013, the Legislature imposed 5 tax increases so there were Advisory Votes #3, #4, #5, #6, and #7 on the November 2013 ballot.  Voters opposed some and narrowly supported others.

         In 2014 (this year), the Legislature imposed 2 tax increases.  That means there will be 2 measures on the November ballot as a result:  Advisory Vote #8 and Advisory Vote #9. 

        It’s a huge victory that voters get to vote on these 2 tax increases. 

        Now back to I-1325:  the deadline is Thursday.  Make sure to mail in your petitions TODAY.  

        And please contribute TODAY so this initiative effort is a success.  Send us a donation for $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, $2500, $5000 or more (there are no limits on how much can be given). You can make a secure PayPal / VISA / MC contribution by going to our website — www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com — OR, you can print this form, fill it out, and return it with a check or credit card information. Either way, please send in your most generous donation RIGHT NOW.  And please consider a monthly contribution.  This initiative effort will be hard, but it will be worth it!