Eyman to file new anti-tax initiative on Wednesday

SEATTLE -- Two weeks after Election Day, Tim Eyman plans to file yet another anti-tax measure while his last initiative, 1366, prepares for another court battle.

The new measure, nicknamed "Tougher to Raise Taxes," states that any tax increase passed after January 2016 would expire after one year unless approved by a two-thirds vote in the legislature or a majority vote of the people.

"This from the beginning has been a lobbying effort to get the legislature to listen to the people. They've voted for it six times in a row," Eyman told KING 5.

"We're wiling to do a 7th initiative and an 8th initiative if that's what it's going to take. But the goal all along has been exactly the same. We're trying to convince the legislature the people have earned the right to vote on a two-thirds for taxes constitutional amendment, and either we're going to vote on a two-thirds for taxes constitutional amendment in 2016, or they're going to be voting on another two-thirds initiative that we sponsor. It's as simple as that," Eyman said.

Meanwhile, opponents of Eyman are drafting a new legal challenge to 1366. Attorney Paul Lawrence sent a letter to the Attorney General's Office Tuesday, which begins the process.

"The bottom line is Tim Eyman is a crook, he's proved it again and again," said Aaron Ostrom, executive director of Fuse Washington. "This initiative is another self serving attempt to line his pockets at the expense at the rest of us. It locks in place a tax system that is unfair and upside down, so he can make some extra money by some wealthy special interests who it protects."

Eyman remains under investigation by the Washington State Attorney General's Office. A Public Disclosure Commission report alleged Eyman profited from signature-gathering activities in connection to a 2012 initiative and used some of the money for personal use.

"Our opponents trying to change subject," said Eyman, who declined to comment on the investigation. He also said voters didn't appear to be deterred given the passage of 1366, which won with 51.5 percent of the vote.

"They frankly don't care about Tim Eyman. What they care about is a legislature that seems to not be listening to them. As long as the legislature doesn't listen to them, there's going to be an appetite by the voters to vote for initiatives like this one," Eyman said.

"Tim Eyman specializes in a very misleading question," countered Aaron Ostom. "He doesn't ask people do you want to defund our schools, do you want to stop fixing bridges?"

"There are many people who don't like taxes generically," Ostrom continued. "But if you ask people voters in Washington again and again have said they actually want to invest in schools and roads and education and healthcare. They say that again and again when we ask."

Eyman, meanwhile, has said voters are sick of Olympia's "insatiable tax appetite." He's currently trying to lobby lawmakers in legislative districts who voted in support of 1366.

In an email to supporters, Eyman also promised to "confront" legislators on Wednesday, after he officially files his new measure.

"I think this is an incredibly epic fight that we're in. We've had a 22-year tug of war with this policy, and what we're illustrating is we're in it for the long haul," Eyman said. "We're going to do whatever it takes as far as convincing the legislature that this policy is going to happen, and it's going to happen permanently."

Letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson

 


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