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2010: I-1053 (2/3 Vote to Raise Taxes)

Results: I-1053 passed with 63.77% voter approval and was approved in every county except San Juan. The initiative restores the two-thirds requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes unless the tax increase is referred to a public vote. Without the ability to increase taxes with a simple majority, lawmakers will have to make the some hard choices about what to prioritize for spending while attempting to reduce the budget deficit.

According to Living Voter’s Guide, I-1053 would “restate the existing statutory requirement that any action or combination of actions by the legislature that raises taxes must be approved by a two-thirds vote in both houses of the legislature or approved in a referendum to the people…”

I-1053 is the latest initiative by Tim Eyman, a conservative political activist in Washington State. The Everett Herald calls it “Tim Eyman Personal Employment Act of 2010.”

The initiative seeks to reinforce Initiative 960, another Eyman initiative, which voters narrowly approved in 2007, by preventing the Legislature from suspending it for another two years.

The pros:
I-1053 makes raising taxes more difficult so that legislature’s attention is conditioned toward reforming and reducing budgeting rather than refilling via increased taxes.
Web site: YesOn1053.com

The cons:
I-1053 would give a minority party outsized power to block tax increases while also disavowing the painful choices forced by hits to existing revenues.
Web site: No1053.org




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