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Tim Eyman on why Initiative 1648 limiting tax hikes is getting traction

Initiative guru and political activist Tim Eyman speaks at a special city council meeting. (Seattle Channel)

It’s rare to hear about an initiative that would actually limit tax increases, instead of raising them. But that’s what Initiative 1648 aims to do.

The new initiative, spearheaded by Tim Eyman, would essentially enable Washington voters the power to veto every tax increase, ensuring that this session’s tax increases end in December and limiting future tax increases to one year, in essence forcing the Legislature to re-vote on each one every session.

It’s a proposal that appears to be getting some traction, especially with Eastern Washington resident Mike McKee.

“The last three nights of session the Democrats blessed us with 11 new taxes totaling about $27 billion. There was very little or no public input,” he told the Saul Spady Show on KTTH. “They closed the galleries and they voted on this in the middle of the night. So it was just that the whole thing stunk.”

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McKee originally started a Facebook page called Eastern Washington for 1648, and within the first 24 hours he got tons of negative feedback, not from those who disagreed with the initiative, but from people wondering why the page was just for Eastern Washington when supporters felt this should be a statewide effort. So he got rid of the “Eastern” and the page got plenty more attention.

“When I see taxes coming through in the middle of the night and some taxes that are just targeting businesses industries that that will put them out of business. That should be a wake up call and a shock to everybody out there,” he said. “Because this year it happens to be the vaping community and the travel agent community … and the banking industry.”

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“There’s nobody out there except probably the 100 people in Olympia that voted on this stuff that wants higher taxes, higher property taxes. I talked to a lot of retired people and they’re scared that they’re going to be taxed out of their homes, not being able to afford to live there,” he said. “Their income didn’t go up 17.5 percent like the state budget. So you know there’s a lot of people out there that have had enough.”

Eyman anticipated tax hikes, but still shocked by the amount

Tim Eyman, the original writer of I-1648, says he put the initiative forward in anticipation of Democrat tax hikes, but even still was a little shocked how much there were.

“It’s really amazing how crazy they went this legislative session. I mean when I filed this thing in January I certainly anticipated the possibility that they would go crazy,” he said. “I was like ‘Well they got a $3.5 billion surplus, more than enough money to be able to do all the things that they can do,’ and to have them turn around and do 11 different tax increases totaling $27 billion over the next 10 years according to the state budget office.

“I mean never anticipated it to be this this overwhelming.”

Listen to the Saul Spady Show weekday afternoons from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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