Washington Supreme Court Rejects Anti-Tax Initiative

May 26, 2016

The latest tax-limiting initiative approved by Washington voters has been ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

Justices said the measure violated the requirement that initiatives be limited to a single subject.

Initiative 13-66 would have cut the state sales tax by one percent unless lawmakers allowed a public vote on a constitutional amendment to require two-thirds support of the Legislature to raise taxes.

The Washington Policy Center, a free-market think tank, anticipated the court's move.

The center commissioned a survey from independent pollster Stuart Elway in December.

65% said even if it's deemed unconstitutional, lawmakers should still ask voters to decide whether to require a two-thirds majority.

Jason Mercier at the Policy Center says that's not surprising.

"They want the people to be the one's to finally end this debate, and not have the courts be the last word on it. The voters have passed a super-majority requirement for tax increases at the ballot box six times going back to 1993" Mercier said.

The poll sample was 500 voters, primarily in western Washington.

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman sponsored the initiative.

Copyright 2016 KUOW