Road and transit tax proposals may surface on Washington's 2012 ballot

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March 29, 2011


OLYMPIA, Washington: Washington's 2011 ballot may be free of tax-related legislative referrals but 2012's might be a different story.

In mid-March, following the House proposal for a $8.9 billion transportation budget, legislators announced that voters should expect to see road and transit tax proposals on the ballot as soon as 2012. Such proposals include a recommended gas tax. Rep. Mike Armstrong said, "New revenue is going to be needed. I’m not sure a gas tax is going to be part of it." Lawmakers are reportedly still weighing various revenue sources.[1]

Lawmakers said that any proposed tax plans will most likely head to voters, instead of being decided in Olympia. The required referral stems from 2010's voter-approved Initiative 1053 which requires that legislative actions raising taxes must be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or receive voter approval, and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval.[2]

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