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Tim Eyman says possible ‘tsunami’ of signatures for tax-halting I-1648

Initiative guru Tim Eyman speaks at a meeting where the Seattle City Council voted to repeal its head tax. (Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

The deadline nears for I-1648 to garner enough signatures to make it to the November ballot, but initiative sponsor Tim Eyman is confident that a wave of petitions will come in by Friday.

“It’s just a mad scramble … it always boils down to what comes in at the end, and there is just a wave coming,” he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “It’s just a question of whether or not it’s a tsunami, which it feels like it’s going to be, and whether or not it’s going to fall short.”

I-1648 seeks to put a one-year time limit on every future tax increase passed by the Legislature, so that the Legislature would have to re-approve each one every year. The only way that the tax increases could last longer than a year would be if voters approved them.

“The Legislature could, theoretically, vote for tax increases year after year after year, but by putting them on a short leash like this, we make it a whole lot tougher for them,” he said.

Latest Tim Eyman initiative would put time limits on tax hikes

The initiative also seeks to get rid of every one of the 11 tax increases approved this past session, which totaled around $25 billion, in December of this year.

The problem with the steep tax hikes was transparency, Eyman said.

“These 11 tax increases were on the final weekend, many of them without public hearings, late at night,” he said. “You had legislators saying they hadn’t even had a chance to read the bills before they passed them.”

If the new initiative makes it to the ballot and gets approved, it will give not only those legislators, but voters, a much-needed chance to pause and really learn about what the taxes do.

I-1648 needs to reach the 320,000-signature mark by Friday, but Eyman said that since launching this spring, the campaign — which uses no paid signature-gatherers — has just exploded. He compared it to a sprint rather than a marathon.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, the amount of grassroots support there is … this one has the feel of a tsunami, of something that could just set all sorts of records if people are willing to help,” he said.

To learn more, visit the initiative’s website.

Eyman also has a separate initiative for $30 car tabs that has already qualified for November’s ballot.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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