Friday, October 30, 2020
Oct. 30, 2020

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Two-thirds approval on tax hikes: Yes

The Columbian

When Washington voters were asked in 2010 if they wanted to require a two-thirds approval by the Legislature for tax increases, they not only approved, the statewide consent approached two-thirds (63.7 percent; 71.3 percent in Clark County). Initiative 1185 on the Nov. 6 ballot asks the same question. The Columbian endorses I-1185 for the same reason expressed two years ago: Legislators have shown they can’t be trusted to hold the line on tax increases. Remember, I-1185 does not prevent tax increases. It only makes them more difficult.

Is a two-thirds requirement undemocratic, as many complain? No, because the measure specifies that taxes can be increased by a majority vote of the people. As for legislators, they can still increase revenue by hiking fees and through various other methods.

Washington should continue as one of 16 states with varying forms of supermajority vote requirement for increasing taxes. I-1185 would extend for two years the provisions of I-1053, which expires at the end of this year.