Haler says today’s court ruling could open the door for massive tax increases proposals by House Democrats

‘Without the taxpayer protections, I fear the majority party in the House is prepared to have a field day,’ says Haler

The Washington State Supreme Court today ruled against the voter-approved two-thirds legislative vote requirement to raise taxes.  Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, said he was frustrated with the court’s ruling, especially after 44 of 49 counties approved the most recent taxpayer protections found in Initiative 1185.  Haler released the following statement:   “The voters in this state have made it abundantly clear that they want a high threshold for raising taxes.  They want members of the Legislature to make a strong case if new or increased taxes are necessary – and rightfully so.  State government continues to grow faster than the incomes of the citizens that it’s supposed to serve.   “My fear is that the pent-up ‘tax and spend’ aggression in Olympia will no longer be held in check by the two-thirds vote requirement and we’ll see a host of new proposals and programs aimed at the taxpayers’ wallets.  We’ve already seen state income tax bills, a proposal to increase the death tax, a 10-cent increase in the state gas tax, and a reinstatement of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, something the public overwhelmingly voted against years ago.  Without the taxpayer protections, I fear the majority party in the House is prepared to have a field day.  Hopefully, the majority coalition in the Senate will stick together and defeat any possible tax increase, especially the gas tax increase.   “I anticipated the court might rule in this way.  That’s why I sponsored legislation at the very beginning of session to place the two-thirds taxpayer protections into the state constitution.  At this point, it doesn’t matter if it’s a House bill or a Senate bill.  Our citizens want government to live within its means and to stop trying to hold vital state services hostage to a tax increase.  Amending our state constitution is something that needs to be done and it needs to be done now.”


Washington State House Republican Communications