Rep. Mark Hargrove comments on overturning of taxpayer protections

The state Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited ruling on the lawsuit challenging the two-thirds vote requirement for the Legislature to pass tax increases, which was put in place by voters five times. The 6-3 decision deemed the higher threshold for tax increases unconstitutional.

Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, expressed concern that the ruling does not reflect the will of the voters, who again recently passed the two-thirds provision in Initiative 1185 with statewide support of 64 percent and 70 percent support in the 47th Legislative District. He issued the following statement regarding the ruling:

“The voters have been crystal clear with the powers that be in Olympia – they want a bipartisan consensus on tax increases. I believe taxpayers understand taxes might need to be raised in certain circumstances and they would support them. However, the two-thirds vote requirement to increase taxes ensures that the discussions start with how to make government more efficient, not with new and higher taxes. I probably do not need to point out that the 520 Bridge mismanagement does not give taxpayers encouragement that what they are sending to Olympia right now is being spent wisely. Asking citizens for more of their paychecks in the wake of such waste is unimaginable.

“I continue to believe the budget can be balanced responsibly within current tax collections, which are growing at roughly six to seven percent each two-year budget cycle, or $2 billion dollars. I am concerned that today’s ruling will thwart the efforts made by House Republicans to restructure state spending to fund education first and prioritize public safety and services for the most vulnerable and, instead, encourage the House majority to pass new and higher taxes without reforms to government spending.”

To read more about House Republicans’ proposal to put the two-thirds requirement in the House rules, visit:


Washington State House Republican Communications