Washington Repeal of the Motor Vehicle Tax, Initiative 912 (2005)
I-912 would have repealed motor vehicle fuel tax increases of 3 cents in 2005 and 2006, 2 cents in 2007, and 1.5 cents per gallon in 2008, enacted in 2005 for transportation purposes.
|Washington Initiative 912 (2005)|
Election Results via: Washington Secretary of State
The official ballot summary was:
- "This measure would repeal a motor vehicle fuel tax rate increase enacted by the 2005 session of the Legislature for state-wide transportation purposes. The 2005 enactment provides that the motor vehicle fuel tax rate would increase by three cents per gallon in July, 2005, by three cents per gallon more in 2006, by two cents per gallon more in 2007, and by one and one-half cents per gallon more in 2008."
Filed on May 12, 2005 by Jane M. Milhans.
Supporters say I-912 is a rejection of the state's transportation priorities and the leaders who set them.
"I really want folks to understand how unhappy citizens are with transportation planning in the state," I-912 spokesman Bret Bader said.
The initiative surged onto the Nov. 8 ballot when volunteers gathered more than 420,000 signatures -- nearly double the required amount. Initiative backers were helped by support from conservative talk-radio hosts.
Within the Republican Party, heart of the grass-roots support for the measure, I-912 is also seen as a referendum on last year's controversial governor's election, Gregoire's first months in office and what its leaders call tax-and-spend politics in Olympia.
"What's driving this campaign is a lot broader than just transportation policy," state Republican Party Chairman Chris Vance said. "It's an anger about the arrogant, out-of-control culture of the Democratic aristocracy that runs the state of Washington. People are just sick of it."
According to Vance, the Democrats have the same answer for every problem: "higher taxes and more spending.
"They don't care what the people of this state say or do," Vance said. "The people voted for Initiative 601 (which limits government spending) -- they threw it out. The people voted against Referendum 51 (a 2002 ballot measure calling for a 9-cent-per- gallon gas tax increase) -- they are passing gas taxes, anyway. The people elected Dino Rossi, and somehow Christine Gregoire ends up as governor. That's what their belief is."
"I really don't understand how our dear governor can look herself in the face in the morning," he said. "I think she really did steal the election ... the whole lousy setup was crooked."
The 80-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Idaho said there's more to his support for I-912 than an anti-tax attitude.
"It's a rejection of liberal politics," he said. "I'm all for building new bridges and making roads safer, but if they are going to build roads, then they've got to cut someplace else.
David Goldstein, founder of the liberal blog horsesass.org, said a big part of the grass-roots support for Initiative 912 was anger about the gubernatorial vote.
"They really sold it from Day One as getting back at Queen Christine," he said. "It was a great move in terms of keeping their ratings going, because they moved from one big issue and used that to create another." 
Gov. Christine Gregoire and a legislative majority led by her fellow Democrats say a vote for the initiative repealing the tax increase would be a rejection of a moral imperative -- fixing unsafe roadways to protect people and the economic vitality of the state.
Gregoire continues promoting the highway plan as a safety and economic necessity for the region. Washington's major businesses, labor unions and suburban politicians are revving up for the campaign to defeat I-912.
400,996 signatures were turned in and the measure was submitted to the voters at the November 8, 2005 general election and was rejected by the following vote: For: 823,366; Against: 991,196.
- Sponsors of Initiative 912 submitted a total of 400,996 petition signatures to the Secretary of State. Election officials conducted a random sample of 12,224 signatures, of which 10,615 were valid signatures – 1,609 were determined invalid. Signatures are invalid if the signer is not a registered voter or if he or she signed more than once.
- The petition was checked using the “random sample” process authorized by state law. Under the process, a statistically valid percentage of the signatures are selected at random and checked against voter registration records. A mathematical formula is then applied to the results to obtain a projected rate of invalidation.
- Election officials examined 12,224 signatures (a 3 percent sample) on Initiative 912. From that inspection, it was determined that the measure had an invalidation rate of 13.94 percent.
- Washington 2005 ballot measures
- List of Washington ballot measures
- 2005 ballot measures
- List of Washington State Initiatives to the People
- 2005 State of Washington ballot measure election results
- 2005 Washington Ballot Measure Details
- 2005 State of Washington ballot measure Voter's Guide (PDF)
- Seattle P-I: Rumbling has begun on gas tax initiative
- 2005 Transportation Funding Package