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Tax rollback petitions ready for signatures

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on May 12, 2010 at 11:41 am | 4 Comments »
May 12, 2010 11:41 am

A proposed ballot initiative that would end new taxes on candy, soda pop, bottled water and beer is ready to go out for signatures, now that a court has tweaked its language.

But sponsor Tim Eyman isn’t saying whether he’ll pursue the initiative, or one of the others he’s filed to roll back the Legislature’s 2010 tax increases, and time is running out. He must collect 241,153 valid signatures by July 2 to get one of them on the November ballot.

Because it takes on four taxes, Initiative 1092 stands out as the most comprehensive rollback filed by Eyman this year.

It also mixes one permanent tax – on candy – in with a trio of three-year increases. That could be important because it means the ballot can’t refer to them as “temporary taxes,” which would presumably do less to stir up voters.

The original ballot title written by Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s office described the taxes as temporary, but Eyman challenged it in court, and last week a Thurston County judge ordered it changed.

The measure petition signers would see still isn’t entirely error-free. The ballot measure summary still refers to the taxes as expiring in June 2013, which isn’t true for the candy tax. But the summary isn’t seen by voters, only¬† signers, and Deputy Solicitor General Jim Pharris told me today both sides agreed not to spend more time in court fixing what seemed like a minor error.

This all may be moot if Eyman doesn’t start collecting signatures soon. He told me he’s waiting for all of his tax rollback initiatives to make it through court challenges before moving forward.

In the meantime, he’s pushing Initiative 1053, which would reinstate the requirement for a two-thirds majority in the Legislature to raise taxes. Signature collectors are moving “full steam ahead” on that one, he said.

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