Statement from Rep. Mark Hargrove on court’s ruling on supermajority vote requirement for tax increases

Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, expressed disappointment in today’s court ruling that deemed Initiative 1053, which put in place the requirement for a supermajority vote by the Legislature or a vote of the people to increase or create new taxes, unconstitutional. He issued the following statement:

“The state constitution is clear that the people of this state, through the initiative process, can make decisions that impact everything from school funding to how taxes can be raised. Since 1993, voters have five times passed initiatives that put tighter controls in place to ensure the Legislature doesn’t get into their wallets before it attempts to streamline government and address wasteful spending. Initiative 1053 passed with 64 percent of the vote statewide. It also passed overwhelmingly in the Forty-seventh Legislative District. Constituents have repeatedly told me that new and higher taxes should be the last resort, not the first option. In response to that, I supported key reforms that will positively impact future state spending. I am pleased we were able to balance the budget without raising taxes.

“I continue to believe what was demonstrated this year: If there is an argument to increase taxes or repeal a tax incentive, the Legislature can find the two-thirds vote to do so. The people knew what they were supporting when they passed the last initiative. Today’s ruling is a disappointment, but I have faith the state Supreme Court will do as it did in 2009 when it ruled against Democrat Majority Leader Senator Lisa Brown’s legal challenge to repeal the voter-approved two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases and confirm the voters in this state have the constitutional authority to protect their pocketbooks.”


Washington State House Republican Communications