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Court Clears Washington Tax Supermajority Initiative For Ballot

1 min readBy: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

This November, voters in Washington state will vote on Initiative 960, which would require a two-thirds legislative and voter approval threshold for taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. or fee increases. The amendment was cleared for the ballot last week, after the state supreme court rejected a challenge to the initiative in Futurewise v. Reed (Docket No. 80430-3).

The challenge, filed by environmental and labor groups, sought to keep the initiative off the ballot, alleging that the supermajority requirement would impose additional steps in the legislative process beyond those outlined in the state constitution. The court unanimously rejected this argument, holding that an initiative will be kept off the ballot only if procedures were not followed or if the subject matter is beyond the initiative power. Since neither was the case, the initiative goes forward.

See here for our blog post from a year ago, when Nevada’s supreme court read a similar supermajority-for-tax-increase requirement out of the state constitution.