Initiatives

Austin Jenkins offers some good updates on R-4204, which would have required a simple 51% majority to pass a education funding (it currently requires 60%):

Supporters are stunned and bummed. They’ve been trying for more than a decade to muster the two-thirds vote in the Legislature to put the question before voters. It finally happened this year.

But opponents like state Sen. Janea Holmquist, a Republican from Moses Lake, say majority Democrats misread the mood of voters: “It’s fairly obvious that the majority is out of touch with voters. The voters get it: Property taxes are too high.”

Holmquist says the deeper issue here is that voters are fed up with having to use local levy money to cover gaps in state funding for basic education.

I sympathize with with the folks who tried to get it on the ballot. It’s ridiculous that this one thing — education funding — requires 60%, but every other spending initiative requires 51%. But still, Holmquist has a point. Property tax levies have become like sales taxes in this state — we drop another levy every time we need funds for something. It’s another sign of the state’s half-assed revenue stream.

The real solution here is an income tax, which I’m pretty sure Holmquist wouldn’t support, so I don’t have much sympathy for her position, but there you go.

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