Olympia has proved time and again that if it’s easy to raise taxes, lawmakers will.

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WE’VE had more than 20 years of experience with ballot measures like Initiative 1366 that make it tougher for Olympia to raise your taxes.

Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or independent voter, can’t we all agree that it’s better to spur state government to prioritize spending and reform government rather than just raise our taxes? Olympia has proved time and again that when it’s easy to raise taxes, legislators will. And they’ve consistently shown us that without these tougher-to-raise-taxes policies, they’ll impose higher taxes on regular taxpayers who are ill-equipped to fight back.

Some of my legislative colleagues may talk about “closing corporate loopholes” and “forcing the rich to pay their fair share,” but whenever taxes are increased, powerful lobbyists protect their clients and you and I get stuck with higher sales taxes, gas taxes, car-tab taxes, property taxes and utility taxes.

I’m proud to support I-1366, and I ask you to vote for it.

Five times the people have voted to make it tougher to raise taxes. And five times our state government overrode your votes. So this time, I-1366 sends state government a clear message: Let the people vote to permanently protect themselves from higher taxes with a constitutional amendment. Just like our previous voter-approved initiatives, this amendment would require either two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases.

I know firsthand how Olympia works. There is a constant effort to raise taxes. I can say with confidence that the Legislature would work better if I-1366 passes.

Passage of I-1366 would send a clear message that we need protection from Olympia’s insatiable tax appetite. The initiative would knock a penny off the sales tax unless the Legislature refers the two-thirds-for-taxes constitutional amendment to the ballot for a public vote next year.

In this economy, every cent matters. With my family, as I’m sure with yours, we’ve had to trim costs and make hard budget decisions.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the same unified effort by the Legislature. Instead of making changes needed to reduce our state’s deficit, the Legislature has too often increased taxes.

The ability of the government to take your hard-earned dollars should be treated differently from other types of legislation. The more the government takes, the less you and your family have to spend on your needs and priorities.

The only way to control runaway spending and the growth of state government is to make it tougher to raise taxes.

Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

We know the two-thirds-vote requirement works. When a two-thirds requirement was in place, lawmakers balanced state budgets without raising taxes — because they had to. So if voters pass I-1366, Olympia would again reform government, prioritize spending and re-evaluate existing programs — instead of raising taxes.

It’s gratifying to see how much support I-1366 is attracting. Beside the 339,000 voters who signed petitions, I-1366 has been endorsed by numerous state and local citizen groups and organizations. As the votes in 2010 and 2012 show, almost two-thirds of voters support making it tougher to raise taxes.

Vote “yes” on Initiative 1366 and hold Olympia accountable for your tax dollars.