Initiative to Lower Sales Tax Passing, But May Face Legal Challenge
It appears TIm Eyman's latest effort to battle tax increases in our state will pass. In fact, the Washington Policy Center is reporting I-1366 has passed. But could it face a legal challenge?
The measure is this: If state legislators don't pass a State Constitutional Amendment requiring a two-thirds legislative majority for ALL tax increases, then the state sale tax will go down 1%, from 6.5 to 5.5. No specific timetable has been set, but it's presumed the legislature would tackle this during the next legislative session.
However, according to Q13 Fox TV in Seattle, there could be a problem:
"According to the Washington Constitution, amendments must originate in the Legislature and then be sent to people for ratification (not the other way around).
So, what do you think? Does citizen Initiative 1366 change the Constitution or just give legislators a choice?
Opponents argue that citizens threatening lawmakers into passing a constitutional amendment is the same thing as citizens passing a constitutional amendment. Eyman says no way. The Legislature doesn’t have to do anything. They can just live with a lower sales tax, although that would cost the state a lot of revenue."
Most observers who follow politics in our state believe before actual legislative action takes place, I-1366 will be decided in court. But perhaps legislators need to heed the message that was sent by voters to Olympia:
'Stop with the new taxes, and stop wasting our money.'