Rep. Jim Walsh calls for immediate action on Initiative 2111 following introduction to the Legislature

Washington’s Secretary of State (SOS) has officially notified the Legislature that the signature verification process and certification for Initiative 2111 have been successfully completed. This initiative aims to codify Washington state’s longstanding tradition of prohibiting an income tax.

Rep. Jim WalshR-Aberdeen, sponsor and author of the initiative, released the following statement regarding its introduction to the Legislature:

“I-2111 has been certified and needs to be passed into law by the Washington State Legislature as quickly as possible. Some Washingtonians mistakenly believe our state Constitution bans an income tax here. That’s not quite true. Article VII of the state Constitution bans a progressive income tax. It says that all taxes in this state must be ‘uniform across all classes of property.’ In other words, in some situations, a flat income tax might be constitutional.

“Of course, Washington has never had a state or local income tax. The culture and traditions of this state have always opposed an income tax. I-2111 clarifies state law to reflect our culture and traditions. It states clearly that such taxes are prohibited. And, in doing so, it aligns state tax policy with federal policy.

“Tax policy can be dense and confusing. But I-2111 is a clear and strong statement. The people of Washington have supported it enthusiastically — by putting their signatures on the petitions to support this initiative. I am asking my colleagues in the Legislature to stand with the people and pass I-2111.

“Washingtonians are overtaxed. They are calling for meaningful tax reform. Initiative 2111 is an integral component of a wider effort to deliver the tax reform desired by the people of Washington. It’s good public policy and will strengthen our state’s economy for future generations.

In addition to I-2111, the SOS has certified four additional initiatives: I-2109, repealing the capital gains income tax, I-2117, targeting the repeal of the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), I-2113, seeking to restore the authority of police officers to pursue when there is reasonable suspicion of a law violation; and I-2081, a parents’ bill of rights.

The Legislature can choose to adopt the initiatives as presented, turning them into law without ballot placement. Alternatively, they can reject or refrain from acting on the initiatives, resulting in their inclusion on the ballot in the next general election. Another option is for the Legislature to propose an alternative bill on the same subject. In such a scenario, both measures would appear on the ballot.

The 60-day 2024 legislative session began on Monday, Jan. 8, and will conclude on March 7.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov