Response to anti-1366 editorial in today’s Tacoma News Tribune

by | Sep 25, 2015

Regarding today’s TNT editorial against Initiative 1366, their arguments sound familiar.

        Their paper strongly opposed making it tougher to raise taxes when we sponsored Initiative 960 in 2007, Initiative 1053 in 2010, and Initiative 1185 in 2012.  In every campaign, they editorialized strongly against those 2/3-for-taxes initiatives.  

        I-960 got 800,000 votes and passed.

        I-1053 got 1.6 million votes and passed with 64% approval.

        I-1185 got 1.9 million votes and passed with 64% approval (it got more votes than any initiative in state history)

        Almost 2/3 of voters support making it tougher to raise taxes, despite the TNT’s emphatic belief that it should be easy to raise taxes.

        But the jaw-dropper was this line in their editorial:  ” … the problem it purports to solve – a Legislature that raises taxes at every turn – doesn’t exist.”

        Without the 2/3-for-taxes vote requirement in effect this year, Olympia raised taxes a jaw-dropping $17.5 billion this session.  After the Legislature suspended the 2/3 requirement in 2010, Olympia raised taxes a whopping $6.7 billion that session.  Without the 2/3 in 2005, Olympia raised taxes over $9 billion.

        So the TNT is right, they don’t raise taxes at every turn — just when the 2/3 isn’t in effect.

        The years they don’t raise taxes isn’t because they restrained themselves, it’s because there was a 2/3 requirement in effect. 

        In 2007, the people reenacted the 2/3 requirement with our initiative — in 2008 and 2009, the Legislature didn’t raise a single tax.  In 2010, the people reenacted the 2/3 requirement with our initiative — in 2011 and 2012, the Legislature didn’t raise taxes.  In 2012, the people reenacted it again and in 2013 and 2014, the Legislature was much more restrained.

       The record is clear.  Olympia can’t control itself without the 2/3.

        5 times the voters have passed 2/3 initiatives that provided temporary protection.  I-1366 provides voters’ with the chance to ask for permanent protection.