It is very likely that the subject of tax increases will come up at tonight’s gubernatorial debate. Both candidates have strongly stated they do not support tax increases though they’ve come down on opposite sides of the state’s 20 year old law requiring a supermajority vote for tax increases.
Not surprisingly the state’s 2/3 vote requirement for tax increases was a topic of the last election for Governor in 2008. Here is an exchange from 2008 between radio host Dori Monson and Governor Gregoire on that issue (starts at 24:29):
Dori: “Yes or no, do you support the 2/3 legislative majority for tax increases?”
Gregoire: “I think it’s a moot issue because I think it [tax increases] ought to go to a vote of the people . . . I think it’s more important to hear from the people of the state, I think it’s more important to hear from them than it is from legislators . . . if there’s [any discussion of tax increases] it’s up to them, the people of the state of Washington. That to me is a much better showing of democracy than having the legislature decide in an economic potentially challenging time . . . I want the people to vote, what’s wrong with that?”
As we wrote in Sunday’s Everett Herald, it is time to truly settle the debate on Washington’s supermajority for taxes law with a vote on a constitutional amendment.
Updated legislative tax survey results
Supermajority Vote Requirements Are a Basic Part of Washington’s Democracy
Tax restrictions across the country
Initiative 1185: To Affirm the Two-thirds Vote Requirement for Tax Increases
[Reprinted from the Washington Policy Center blog]