Court Clears Washington Tax Supermajority Initiative For Ballot

September 11, 2007

This November, voters in Washington state will vote on Initiative 960, which would require a two-thirds legislative and voter approval threshold for tax 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.

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