A Fleeting Burst of Sanity from the Washington State Supreme Court
If you’re like me, you’ve probably had it up to HERE with 34% of the voters — or legislators — being able to shoot down every proposed tax increase and prevent every tax loophole from being closed. It’s impossible to calculate how many school, library and mass transit projects have been derailed, and how many police officers and firefighters have been laid off, just because not quite 67% of the voters were willing to increase their own taxes to fund these projects.
And on that note, three cheers for the Washington State Supreme Court.
The Court has ruled that requiring a two thirds vote of the legislature in order to raise taxes — or even close a tax loophole — violates the Washington State Constitution. I don’t know whether this ruling effects local tax initiatives, where one third of the voters can thwart the will of the other two thirds. But it’s a start.
According to Article II, section 22 of the State Constitution: “…no bill shall become a law unless …a majority of the members elected to each house” vote in its favor.
The anti-tax brigade’s only recourse now is to try to amend the Washington State Constitution. In order to do this, they’ll need a two thirds vote in both houses of the state legislature AND the approval of two thirds of the state’s voters. Good luck with that. Poetic, no? The shoe’s on the other foot now.
I’ve always thought this two-thirds/super-majority rule was just plain wrong, whether it regards taxes or any other issue. It must be nice to be on the side that only needs to win 34% of the vote.
Tim Eyman — the twisted love child of Howard Jarvis and Grover Norquist — is Washington State’s favorite anti-tax hero. Tim Eyman won’t sleep a wink until the last of these commie libraries has been slammed and shuttered.
If you live in or near Washington State, that funny noise you’re hearing is the sound of Tim Eyman pounding the bed and screaming into his pillow.