Supermajority vote proposed for tax breaks; How about tax increases?

January 21, 2013

Fulfilling the annual rite of session, Sen. Chase today introduced a graduated income tax proposal (SB 5166) and companion constitutional amendment (SJR 8207). Of note from SJR 8207 is section 4 which would require a supermajority vote (3/5) or voter approval for creation of any tax break.

While it is encouraging to see lawmakers continue to embrace the concept of supermajorities (such as the budget reserve amendment adopted by voters in 2007 and 2011), there hasn't been much public outcry to date on the need to create a supermajority requirement to cut taxes. There has, however, been a consistent 20 year message from voters on the need to enforce a supermajority vote requirement to raise taxes.

Several proposed supermajority for taxes constitutional amendments have already been introduced. The question remaining is what, if anything, lawmakers will do with the bills.

As for the proposal to create a graduated income tax, the voters have been as clear in their opposition as they have been in their support for the supermajority for taxes requirement.

Several states with income taxes are currently considering repealing them.

Additional Information
When will Supreme Court rule on 2/3 for taxes?

History of tax ballot measures in WA since 1932


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