City of Yakima will vote on 2/3-for-taxes initiative in November

by | Jul 11, 2013

The tax wars continue to rage, this time is my hometown of Yakima.  Local folks heroically amassed the thousands of voter signatures necessary to put their charter change initiative on the November ballot.  It requires a two-thirds vote of the city council to raise taxes.  “Citizens for Two-Thirds” organizer Bruce Smith said it very well:  “It’s real simple:  We’re making it harder for City Council to raise taxes.”   Their successful effort was supported by city council leaders Rick Ensey and Bill Lover and opposed and obstructed by Mayor Micah Cawley and city councilmember Dave Ettl. 

         Last year’s Initiative 1185 required two-thirds legislative approval for tax increases and 65% of statewide voters approved it.  It passed in every county and in every district outside Seattle.  Washington’s citizenry clearly want tax increases to be an absolute last resort.

        Nothing makes us prouder than to see “Son of 1185” ballot measures qualifying for a public vote in other jurisdictions.  Pierce County voters put the 2/3 protection in their County Charter and Spokane city voters put the 2/3 protection in their City Charter.  In those two cases, it was conservatives on the two councils that let their people vote on the charter change.  In Yakima, it was the citizens who put forth the Herculean effort necessary to let the voters decide.

        Congratulations to those heroic souls in Yakima who had the courage, commitment, and tenacity to succeed with their charter change initiative.

        17 other states already have this protection in their state Constitutions.  Washington’s voters have approved the 2/3 policy five times, each time by a wider and wider margin.  The citizens of our state clearly support making it tougher to raise taxes.