New Eyman initiative looks to extend 2/3 requirement for new taxes in Olympia

Initiative guru Tim Eyman is back on the street collecting signatures for another new anti-tax measure. 

“There’s no doubt that down in Olympia they do not like the idea of making it tougher to raise taxes,” said Eyman.

This year’s effort, Initiative 1185, is essentially the same as the one Eyman successfully pushed 2 years ago, requiring that new taxes receive at least 2/3majority in the state legislature. 

That 2010 initiative is still in place, but, like with all initiatives, the legislature can scrap it after two years.  Eyman’s new measure would ensure that the supermajority requirement is good for at least another two years. 

Critics are blasting Eyman for the money he’s getting from big oil companies.  Of the nearly $1 million he has raised so far to pay signature collectors, $450,000 has come from companies such as BP and Shell.  He’s also gotten $500,000 from the beer and wine industry. 

“It’s not a surprise that the business community is like every other taxpayer in the state,” said Eyman.  “We’re in the middle of a recession, we can’t afford higher taxes.” 

When it comes to the oil money, longtime Eyman critic Adam Kline, a State Senator from Seattle, says the industry fears new taxes not just on gas and oil, but on things like brake and transmission fluids.  It’s an idea that Olympia has considered. 

“One of the things we discussed was simply making the oil industry pay its own way in terms of the cost of cleaning up after themselves,” said Kline.  “Well, we didn’t do it, and now they are deathly afraid that we will.”

Eyman has until early July to collect 250,0000 valid signatures for his new measure.