By Jerry Cornfield
Anti-tax promoter Tim Eyman has loaned $250,000 to his latest initiative campaign which would make tax hikes expire after a year unless tougher rules for raising taxes are written into the state constitution.
Eyman obtained the money by taking out a second mortgage on his Mukilteo home. He did the same thing in 2010 to propel Initiative 1053 to the ballot. That debt was paid off earlier this year, he said.
“It is not the ideal situation but it is necessary to get the ball rolling,” Eyman said this afternoon. “Every initiative needs seed money and there’s no doubt with the short time-frame that we’ll need money fast.”
Voters Want More Choices received the money April 29 according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. It is currently listed as a cash donation but Eyman said the report will be amended to reflect that it is a loan.
Eyman’s latest initiative calls for advisory votes every fall to see if voters support or oppose a constitutional amendment to require any new tax be approved by at least a two-thirds majority of legislators.
The idea is if the public overwhelmingly supports such a change it will pressure lawmakers into pursuing it.
As an added element of pressure, the initiative would make any tax increase passed by lawmakers and not also put to a public vote would expire after a year. This requirement would go away if the two-thirds rule is put into the constitution.
To qualify, Eyman will need to turn in 246,372 valid signatures of registered voters by July 5. The Secretary of State’s Office recommends turning in 325,000 to allow for invalid signatures.