Politics & Government

Forum on I-1053 tax-lid is tonight in Olympia

Initiative 1053 sponsor Tim Eyman won’t be there, but Amber Carter of the Association of Washington Business is scheduled to make the pitch in favor of the tax-control measure at tonight’s forum in Olympia. Social-services advocate Jerry Reilly is arguing against the measure.

The forum is at the First Christian Church in Olympia, which is holding a series of forums that began last Monday with the income tax proposal, I-1098. The Eyman measure – I-1053 – would reinstate the two-thirds vote requirement for the Legislature to raise taxes without a vote of the people.

The Democrat-controlled House and Senate voted earlier this year to temporarily suspend the two-thirds vote requirement that was embodied in I-960 a few years ago. The requirement goes back into effect next July but Eyman wants to put it back in place for the January session in the face of a nearly $4.5 billion budget shortfall.

Don Carlson, moderate Republican and former state senator, has organized the forums, each of which start at 5:30 p.m. at the church’s library, 701 Franklin St. S.E., in Olympia. The full forum schedule is here, but Carlson said today a few changes are in the works.

One change is that state Sen. Karen Fraser is moving her presentation on issues facing the Legislature during 2011-13 from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25. Carlson said also is waiting on the 3rd district congressional campaigns of Republican Jaime Herrera and Democrat Denny Heck to agree on the scheduled Oct. 13 date.

Next week's forum is on Sept. 27 and features two sides of the I-1107 tax-repeal debate. Speakers are yet to be announced. I-1107 would repeal a few of the taxes lawmakers increased or added this year, including those on soda pop, candy, and bottled water.