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Eyman floats next ideas: Liquor? $30 tabs?



Posted on November 12, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 12 at 8:59 PM

Initiative consultant Tim Eyman is basking in the glow of the last election, with voters overwhelmingly approving his Initiative 1053--requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature to approve tax increases.  So what's next?

He's floating several ideas that all sound vaguely familiar:

--$30 license tabs.  The initiative that got Eyman into politics 11 years ago, was Initiative 695--a promise of $30 tabs.  Voters approved it, but no one pays $30 tabs anymore. Eyman is studying how to roll back the taxes and fees that have been added to license tabs over the years.  Most challenging would be the excise tax charged by Sound Transit, which courts ruled can continue as long as the agency is paying back bonds.  Eyman hints that an initiative might force Sound Transit to retire those bonds, forcing the end of the excise tax.

"Well, it's like mowing the lawn, you know, it always grows back, we voted over and over again for car tab fees, and yet they're growing right back again, it may be time for another clipping," Eyman says.

--Requiring voter approval of red light cameras.  Eyman says this could be part of his $30 license tab initiative--requiring a public vote on any red light cameras.

--Another liquor initiative.  Voters just rejected two liquor initiatives, but Eyman is testing another initiative to privatize the state liquor system.  Eyman's version would allow hard liquor sales only for stores larger than 9,000 square feet--taking away the concern that mini-marts and convenience stores would be carrying hard liquor.

--Two-thirds, again.  Eyman is thinking about expanding his I-1053, requiring a two-thirds vote for tax increases for all local government, not just the state.

--Changing the initiative process.  Almost all initiatives that make the ballot, now use paid signature gatherers.  Eyman believes initiatives would be more of a grass-roots effort if the state allowed more time to collect signatures.  He's thinking about an initiative to make several changes to the process.

Typically, Eyman floats many ideas early, tweaks the language over the next few months then starts collecting signatures on the ideas that draw the most support and money.