Why does big oil like Eyman's latest initiative effort?

Tim Eyman is well on his way to making the fall ballot with his new anti-tax initiative, having already raised nearly $1 million for signature gathering.

Initiative 1185 would reaffirm the 2/3rd supermajority requirement for any new tax increase.  Eyman says it iss needed because the current supermajority requirement (passed in 2010) can be scrapped by legislators after two years. 

Longtime Eyman critic State Sen. Adam Kline (from Seattle’s 37th District) argues that oil companies have put $400,000 into Eyman’s latest effort because they fear new taxes. 

Kline believes that big oil is scared a new tax on industrial materials that would include products such as brake and transmission fluid, and using the the Eyman initiative as a shield to preven it from happening. Kline says legislators have talked about increasing taxes on those products because they produce run-off and other pollution problems that the state has to take care of. 

“They don’t pay their way,” said Kline of oil companies  “They won’t clean up after themselves.”  Kline believes the industry is “deathly afraid” of the state legislators imposing new taxes.   

But Eyman says the “big oil” argument was used against him back in 2010 when his previous 2/3rd initiative was on the ballot.  And it won by 64%.

“Whoever donates to the initiative, all they are doing is simply allowing us to be able to hire people to go out and ask citizens would you like to sign this petition,” said Eyman.  “Voters have the right to say no.”

Eyman notes that he’s received money from a number of businesses this year, not just big oil.  “It’s not a surprise that the business community is like every other taxpayer in the state,” he said.  “We’re in the middle of a recession, we can’t afford higher taxes.”