I hate to get into the business of reporting the future — because sometimes the future proves me wrong — but the big headline nobody seems to be reporting today is that Simple Majority seems likely to pass. Darryl first pointed this out Saturday night, when it was still trailing by about 11,000 votes statewide, and by the end of the day yesterday the gap had narrowed to 2,620. EHJR 4204 is a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the 60-percent supermajority requirement for passing local school levies.
I’d previously argued that low turnout and the lack of partisan contests meant there was no discernible message coming out of Tuesday’s generally disappointing results, but the repositories of conventional wisdom argued otherwise, seeing the defeat of 4204 and Prop 1, combined with a win for Tim Eyman’s ridiculous I-960, as clear signs of an imminent tax revolt. It is in this climate of fear that Dems promise to reinstate one-percent limit on property tax revenue growth after Eyman’s unsustainable I-747 was tossed out by the Supremes. Hmm. Maybe they should have waited a few days before falling on their swords?
What little evidence there was of voter rebellion is steadily dissipating as late absentees continue to be tallied here in Western Washington… you know, where most of the state’s people actually live. Simple Majority seems on its way to passing, while I-960’s once convincing election night performance is heading toward squeaker territory. And while the controversial Roads & Transit measure was soundly defeated, Medic One, the only countywide property tax levy on the King County ballot, is passing with an astounding 83-percent of the vote. So I-960 barely passes in a low turnout election. Yeah, that’s some tax revolt.
The truth is, taxes pay for things that voters want, things like schools, Medic One, and cleaning up after windstorms. They also sometimes pay for things that voters don’t want. And unless they intend to finally do something about our state’s bizarrely regressive tax structure, I think Dems would be better off giving voters what they want, rather than pandering to a Republican minority whose sole goal is to cripple government