Voters can send their own message on four state tax increases appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot.
WHEN the Nov. 3 general election ballots arrive in mailboxes later this month, voters will be asked for their opinion on four nonbinding advisory votes.
Though these ballot questions have no power to reverse state laws, they are a chance for citizens to express to legislators whether they support recent statewide tax increases.
All were worthy increases necessary to pass a budget during what was arguably one of the most difficult legislative sessions in state history:
Advisory Vote No. 10: the Legislature’s expansion of oil spill response and administrative taxes to companies transporting crude oil or petroleum products by rail.
Advisory Vote No. 11: a clarification in state law that ensures the marijuana excise tax also applies to medical marijuana sales.
Advisory Vote No. 12: an increase in motor vehicle fees and gas taxes expected to raise $3.7 billion over 10 years to help fund transportation projects statewide.
Advisory Vote No. 13: a bipartisan effort last session to close tax loopholes for certain businesses to create more revenue for education.
These advisory votes are on the ballot because a majority of voters passed anti-tax activist Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960 back in 2007. The Washington State Supreme Court eventually knocked down the initiative’s main component requiring a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature or a legally binding vote of the people to approve any tax increase or credit sunset. But justices left the nonbinding advisory vote clause intact.