OLYMPIA, Wash., Oct. 12, 2015—By a margin of 87 percent to 10 percent, Washington state small-business owners support passing Initiative 1366 into law, and they want their representative association to get involved.
“When the Legislature has suspended or repealed previous two-thirds requirements, or the court has invalidated them, taxes have skyrocketed – by $9 billion in 2005, $6.7 billion in 2010, and $17.5 billion this year,” said Mark Peterson, leadership council chairman for the National Federation of Independent Business in Washington state and owner of H&H Furniture in Yakima. “We hope this shows the Legislature that we can’t tax our way into prosperity. Tax after tax after tax does not benefit small business or its customer base. I-1366 would force the Legislature to reform government, prioritize spending and re-evaluate existing programs. Raising taxes would be the last resort. Our members want I-1366 approved.”
On five occasions, Washington voters have approved initiatives requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes. In 2013, the state Supreme Court ruled that a super-majority requirement for raising taxes could only be enacted by amending the state constitution, invalidating the two-thirds requirement previously adopted by citizen initiative. The Legislature must propose a constitutional amendment; it cannot be done by initiative. So, I-1366 would reduce the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent unless the Legislature sends a constitutional amendment to the ballot requiring a two-thirds vote of both chambers of the legislature to increase taxes. Voters would then decide whether to add that requirement to the state constitution.
“We asked just two questions on a special fax ballot to our members last week,” said Patrick Connor, NFIB’s Washington state director. Did they support I-1366 and do they want us getting involved for its passage. Eight in 10 respondents said yes to both.” The final tally for the two questions was:
87.1% — YES, I-1366 should be passed into law.
10.4% — NO.
2.5% — Undecided.
82.1% — YES, NFIB/Washington should become involved in this issue based on the results of this ballot.
4.4% — NO.
13.5% — Undecided.
America’s Voice of Small Business since 1943, NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members across the nation, including more than 8,000 members in Washington state.
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
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Olympia, WA 98501