Olympia, WA – A bill that would gut the spending and transparency protections approved by voters in I-960 is scheduled for a public hearing this afternoon at 1:30. The bill would temporarily suspend the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases and permanently modify I-960’s transparency provisions.
Bob Williams, Senior Fellow for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation will testify at the hearing today, expressing concerns with lawmakers’ attempts to address the current budget problems with patchwork tax increases, rather than structural budget reforms.
“The legislature is undermining the will of the people by suspending the two-thirds requirement to raise taxes and is virtually eliminating I-960’s tax transparency provision not only for the public, but for legislators,” Williams says.
“In 2007, for the fourth time since 1993, the voters reaffirmed the two-thirds supermajority requirement for tax increases. Given that the unemployment rate has doubled since then, and that most families are taking home substantially less income, it’s just not believable that taxpayers have magically changed their minds and want to make it easier to raise taxes,” says Amber Gunn, Economic Policy Director for the Freedom Foundation.
“I-960 doesn’t dictate how legislators should spend their existing resources. It does, however, ensure a higher threshold of protection for taxpayers if lawmakers decide to dip their hands back into our wallets for another go around,” Gunn adds.
Gunn is also attending the hearing, and she and Williams will be available for comment.
The Evergreen Freedom Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research group that works to advance individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited, accountable government. The Freedom Foundation has been operating for 19 years and has more than 5,000 members. This release should not be construed as an attempt to support or oppose any legislation.