Washington Supreme Court Tosses Out 2/3rds For Tax Hikes

By Austin Jenkins

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Democrats say it’s a victory for democracy. Republicans call it a defeat for taxpayers. The Washington Supreme Court Thursday threw out the state’s voter-approved, two-thirds requirement for tax hikes. The decision was 6 to 3.

Sen. David Frockt, right, at a press conference with fellow Democrats.The challenge to the two-thirds requirement came from education funding advocates and a dozen Democratic lawmakers. Among them, State Representative Laurie Jinkins. She says the ruling will give lawmakers more options as they grapple with a $1B budget shortfall.

Laurie Jinkins: “I mean if you look last year, right, we tried to close the loophole for out of state shoppers to fund again I think it was all day K, we weren’t able to do that because it required a two-thirds majority.”

Very different rhetoric in the Washington Senate where 23 Republicans and 2 breakaway Democrats have control. Here’s Deputy Republican Leader Don Benton.

Don Benton: “We’re going to honor the will of the people and the will of the people is very clear. They either want a two-thirds vote or they want it to go out to them to vote on.”

Benton also plans to propose a change to the Senate’s rules to require a two-thirds vote for taxes in that chamber. And the Senate majority plans to push an amendment to enshrine the supermajority rule in the Washington constitution.

Photo: Sen. David Frockt, right, at a press conference with fellow Democrats reacting to the Washington Supreme Court decision on the two-thirds threshold for tax hikes

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