This November, in addition to choosing leaders at the city, county, and port level, Washingtonians will very likely be deciding the fate of the most destructive initiative that Tim Eyman has ever proposed: Initiative 1366.
I‑1366 is a clone of last year’s I‑1325, which failed to make the ballot because Eyman wasn’t able to find wealthy benefactors willing to underwrite it.
I‑1366 would slash the state sales tax by about 13%, robbing our state treasury of around $1 billion (that’s billion, with a b) a year in revenue if the Legislature doesn’t pass a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote to raise revenue. Possibly inspired by the 2013 government shutdown, it’s Ted Cruz-style blackmail.
Eyman is now trying again, and this time (possibly thanks to the help of several Republican state senators) he has big money lined up, which means he should be able to buy his way onto the ballot. A handful of very rich right wing donors has so far supplied over three quarters of a million dollars for Eyman’s campaign coffers, and Eyman has spent about that much on paid signature gathering, through his associates Roy Ruffino and Eddie Agazarm.
Including $250,000 in loans that he has taken out against his home (which he will probably find money to repay, as he has in the past), Eyman has accumulated over $1.1 million to date for I‑1366. That total will probably go up when Eyman’s treasurer uploads PDC reports for the current month of May.
With I‑1366 destined for the ballot, the team at NPI is working to build a coalition to fight the initiative so that it receives the fierce, vigorous opposition it deserves, like we did two years ago with I‑517, Eyman’s self-serving initiative on initiatives.
We already have a number of great partners. The King County Democrats and TaxSanity were the first to sign up, and the list opposing I‑1366 now also includes the League of Women Voters of Washington, Fuse Washington, the Washington State Democratic Party, and many local Democratic organizations.
But we’re looking for more. We want the biggest, broadest coalition possible working to defeat I‑1366. Readers, if you are involved with one or more organizations that cares about effective government, fully funding our public schools, fixing our broken tax code, and upholding our state Constitution, please ask those organizations to join our cause as soon as they possibly can.
To make things easy, we’ve got a model resolution you can provide to the boards or governing bodies of organizations you work with. This model resolution can be tweaked or adapted as desired, but it’s also well-polished and can be adapted as is once an organization has added its name to the Therefore clauses.
After an organization you work with has taken a position, it’s important they let us know by filling out the form on the NO on I‑1366 website so we can update the list of organizations that are opposed to Eyman’s diabolical plot force lawmakers to choose between sabotaging our state Constitution or blowing a massive hole in the state budget. The loss of $1 billion a year in state sales tax revenue would destroy the little progress that’s been made to date towards McCleary compliance and creating an even bigger school funding deficit.
Like I‑517 and I‑1125/I‑1033/I‑985 before it, I‑1366 is beatable, but only if those of us who care about Washington’s values and Washington’s future come together to stand up to the extremism of Tim Eyman and his wealthy benefactors.
Take a stand against I‑1366 today, and join the effort to send this unconscionable initiative to the political graveyard that it belongs in.