That’s the best compliment I got all legislative session
Initiatives and referendums are a lot of work. Raising money and collecting signatures is a huge undertaking. If Olympia actually listened to the people, Jack, Mike, I, and all of you would have a lot less to do.
In 2010, the Democrats imposed some really big tax increases that they claimed were only going to be imposed temporarily. One of those temporary tax increases was on Joe Sixpack beer (Budweiser, Coors, etc.). Throughout this year’s legislative session, the Democrats were pushing really hard to break that “temporary” promise and make the beer tax permanent (and extend it to craft brews). The biggest pusher of the bill was Seattle Democrat Reuven Carlyle from Seattle. He’s the most rabid tax raiser in Olympia nowadays — he’s the Chair of the House Finance Committee.
It was a huge battle. But on April 23rd, the Democrats dropped the beer tax extension from their demands. Why?
“Anheuser-Busch could hand a check to Tim Eyman and say go have fun,” Carlyle told PubliCola, explaining that the beer industry was likely to bankroll a repeal effort.
That’s the best compliment I got all legislative session.
Jack, Mike, and I were fully prepared to do an initiative to stop all the temporary taxes from being extended. We had filed numerous versions of initiatives to do just that. Besides the beer tax, the Democrats were also pushing to break their temporary promise by extending the B&O tax on service businesses (another temporary tax increase imposed in 2010). But when the dust settled on the legislative session, all those temporary taxes expired. The Democrats’ effort to extend them failed (due, in part, to the threat of one of our initiatives).
We’re more than willing to do a full-blown initiative when we have to — truth be told, we thoroughly enjoy doing them. But nothing makes us happier than when Olympia does the right thing so we don’t have to.
Nonetheless, taxpayers continue to be extremely vulnerable to the Legislature’s insatiable appetite for higher taxes now that the 2/3-for-taxes law is no longer in effect.
We’re moving full steam ahead on our new initiative: LET THE VOTERS DECIDE ON A 2/3-FOR-TAXES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Our measure ensures permanent protection from Olympia’s propensity to raise taxes.