[7/5/19] Initiative Deadline Nears

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The signature deadline is today for an initiative that would require tax increases approved by the Washington state Legislature to expire after one year unless voters also approved the increases through ballot measures. Critics of I-1648 say it could wreck the state budget, which targets 11 tax increases passed by lawmakers this year. The initiative needs 260-thousand valid signatures to appear on this November’s ballot. Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman says the tax increases this legislative session were passed at the last minute without transparency and should be approved by Washingtonians instead. The 11 bills passed by state lawmakers this year could bring in 25 billion dollars over the next decade. Taxes took center stage because of a finding that Washington has the most regressive tax code in the country. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, people in the top one percent pay three-percent or less of their income in taxes, while those in the bottom 20-percent pay nearly 18-percent. Sponsors of I-1648 plan to turn in signatures at 2 p-m and rally until 5 p-m in Olympia.