Washington Two-Thirds Vote Required to Raise Taxes, Initiative 1185 (2012)
|Type:||Initiative to the People|
|Referred by:||Tim Eyman (spearheaded)|
The proposed measure required either two-thirds legislative approval or a vote by the people in order to raise taxes. Therefore, a one third minority of legislators in either House of the Washington State Legislature could prevent the passage of any measure to raise revenue or repeal existing tax exemptions. The measure defined repealing a tax exemption as raising revenue. It only took a simple majority to pass a tax exemption but under the proposal, a two thirds majority of both houses of the legislature was required to repeal it.
On February 28, 2013, the Washington Supreme Court issued its ruling on League of Educ. Voters v. State and, in doing so, declared legislation requiring a supermajority vote for tax legislation unconstitutional. The challenge was initially filed against Initiative 1053, but is part of a larger issue concerning similar initiatives beginning in 1993 with Initiative 601.
The court found such supermajority requirements to be in violation of Washington Constitution, Article II, Section 22, which states that no bill shall become law unless a majority of each chamber votes in favor of it. The court's ruling concludes with,
|“||Our holding today is not a judgment on the wisdom of requiring a supermajority for the passage of tax legislation. Such judgment is left to the legislative branch of our government. Should the people and the legislature still wish to require a supermajority vote for tax legislation, they must do so through constitutional amendment, not through legislation.||”|
- See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
The following are official election results:
|Washington Initiative 1185|
|Overturned Case:League of Educ. Voters v. State 87425-5 (2013)|
Election results via Washington Secretary of State's website.
Text of the measure
The summary of the measure reads as follows:
- AN ACT Relating to taxes and fees imposed by state government; amending RCW 43.135.034, 43.135.055, 43.135.031, and 43.135.041; creating new sections; and repealing 2010 c 4 s 2.
- The main campaign in support of the measure was Yes on 1185
- The main campaign in opposition of the measure was No on 1185
Path to the ballot
- See also: Washington signature requirements
It was reported on July 6, 2012, that supporters of the measure had turned in signatures by the deadline.
- Washington Two-Thirds Legislative Tax Approval Measure, Initiative 1325 (2014)
- Washington Two-Thirds Legislative Tax Approval Measure, Initiative 1327 (2014)
- Washington Two-Thirds Legislative Tax Approval Measure, Initiative 1328 (2014)
- The Herald, "Tim Eyman targets red-light cameras with statewide initiative," January 10, 2012
- Publicola, "Eyman Files Five New Initiatives," January 9, 2012
- Washington Secretary of State: From Our Corner, "Citizen initiative process now open for business," January 6, 2012
- Seattle Times, accessed April 17, 2012
- Tacoma News Tribune, "Eyman's Initiative 1053 Unconstitutional," accessed June 8, 2012
- Majority Rules, "Eyman's initiative 1053," accessed April 17, 2012
- Washington Secretary of State, "I-1187 text," accessed January 10, 2012
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Associated Press,"State Supreme Court strikes down two-thirds vote for tax hikes," February 28, 2013
- League of Educ. Voters v. State 87425-5 (2013)
- Washington Secretary of State, "Initiative 1185," accessed August 17, 2012
- Washington Secretary of State, "Charter school fans, Eyman submit initiative sigs," July 6, 2012