The constitutional amendment, SJR 8211, to require a 2/3rds super majority vote to raise taxes, failed on Friday in the state Senate. (TRT: 1:50) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD


During the Senate’s debate on Friday of the constitutional amendment that would require a 2/3rds supermajority vote in the legislature to raise taxes, Democratic Sen. Jim Hargrove of Hoquiam detailed the different reasons voters may have approved of Initiative 1366 that passed in the 2015 general election.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam: (TRT: 0:41) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “Now, can you tell me that everybody that voted for this initiative wanted a 2/3rds vote? Or how many people were voting to lower the sales tax by a penny? And, in fact, there are multiple reasons for lowering the sales tax by a penny. One: you just want lower taxes because it’s a burden on your family and that sales tax, being the most regressive tax, is the one you want to lower because you want the sales tax to come down. But there are other people, who are thinking, bright, citizens of the State of Washington, they might have been thinking we could lower this regressive tax and actually bring pressure to have more progressive taxes come in in the future to help fund our responsibility for education.”

According to Initiative 1366, both chambers of the state legislature need to adopt and send a constitutional amendment to the voters that would require a 2/3rds majority to raise taxes by April 15, 2016, or else the sales tax rate will decrease by one percent. Last month, a King County Superior Court judge ruled the entire initiative unconstitutional. The State Supreme Court is expected to weigh in soon.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam: (TRT: 0:10) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “I want to make sure that since 1366 is still in play – it’s on appeal – and there’s still a potential to lower taxes, I’m going to vote no on this and hope that taxes go down.”

The constitutional amendment needed a 2/3rds vote, or 33 votes, in order to pass out the Senate on Friday. The measure failed along party lines – 26 to 23.

In Olympia, Nicole Vukonich