Politics blog

Eyman to speak in Lacey on his initiative threatening a sales-tax cut

OlympianApril 1, 2014 

Tim Eyman reacts to the Supreme Court's decision striking down his two-thirds tax vote initiative in February 2013.

STEVE BLOOM — Olympian file photo

Professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman is scheduled to talk about his latest ballot proposal at the monthly meeting of the Panorama Republicans on Thursday afternoon. The public meeting is at 2 p.m. in the retirement community’s Quinault auditorium, 1835 Circle Lane SE, Lacey.

After the state Supreme Court ruled last year that Eyman’s past effort to require two-thirds legislative votes for tax increases was unconstitutional, he came back this year with Initiative 1325. It tells the Legislature to put the two-thirds measure on the ballot as a constitutional amendment – or else.

As Eyman has learned the hard way with past initiatives, a voter initiative cannot amend the Constitution, but a two-thirds vote of the Legislature can put such a measure on the ballot. This year, a legislative effort led by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, to put such an amendment on the ballot failed to get the two-thirds supermajority needed in the Senate to send the matter to the House and ultimately to voters.

Eyman is hoping his measure provides punitive incentives for lawmakers to act early in their 2015 session.

His proposal carries a provision that cuts the state’s share of the sales tax by a penny – reducing it to 5.5 cents per dollar purchase and cutting state revenues by $1 billion a year. The cut takes effect if lawmakers don't agree put the measure on the ballot next year. The threat comes at a time the Legislature is trying to raise revenues to meet court orders on funding K-12 schools.

Eyman hasn't raised much money for his measure this time around, and he needs to turn in more than 240,000 valid voter signatures by early July. Data on file at the state Public Disclosure Commission show his PAC has raised just $129,113. But Eyman has been making the rounds to talk to GOP groups that may be friendly to his message.

Dale Vincent, chairman of the Panorama group, said the meeting runs an hour. For more details call Vincent at 360-438-5561.

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