September 7, 2007

Initiative 960 Good to Go on November Ballot

By Randy Hodgins

Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman reports in his blog this morning that the State Supreme Court has unanimously rejected a challenge to Tim Eyman’s latest anti-tax initiative.  The court ruled against the Service Employees International Union and Futurewise who had argued that Initiative 960 should be kept off the November 2007 general election ballot because its requirement for a supermajority vote of the legislature on tax increase measures would be a defacto change in the state Constitution which is not permitted through the Initiative process.

As we discussed in the blog in July, I-960 is referred to as the “Taxpayer Protection Initiative.”  It would require a two thirds vote of the legislature or voter approval to enact any tax increase; ensure a public vote on any tax increase enacted with an emergency clause, and require the issuance of press releases by the Governor’s budget office on any proposed legislation which would increase taxes.

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) has recently released a potential fiscal impact statement for I-960.  OFM estimates that the initiative could cost up to $1.8 million annually from requirements to hold statewide advisory votes on legislatively enacted tax increases, preparation of 10-year cost projections for all proposed tax and fee increase proposals and notification of legislators and the public about any proposed revenue legislation.

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