People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed February 27, 2013
Washington High Court Expected To Rule On Supermajority Votes For Tax Hikes
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:11 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday in a case that challenges the two-thirds requirement for tax hikes. A lower court judge previously found the supermajority rule unconstitutional.
If the two-thirds majority for tax hikes which Washington voters have repeatedly approved -- most recently in November with nearly a two-thirds vote -- is thrown out by the court, then really the only remedy for supporters is to try to get a constitutional amendment passed to actually enshrine it in the constitution. That is no easy feat.
A constitutional amendment in Washington requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature plus ratification by the voters. There’s actually no guarantee the Washington Supreme Court will issue a bright line ruling. In past challenges to the supermajority rule, the high court said the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” to bring the case.
Washington Supermajority Rule