State high court strikes down supermajority for tax increases

In a landmark 6-3 ruling today, the Washington State Supreme Court said a state law that requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes is unconstitutional, the Seattle Times reported.

“Our holding today is not a judgment on the wisdom of requiring a supermajority for the passage of tax legislation,” the court said in its majority opinion. “Should the people and the Legislature still wish to require a supermajority vote for tax legislation, they must do so through constitutional amendment, not through legislation,” the opinion stated.

The court’s ruling was in response to a challenge filed against Initiative 1053, the latest in a string of voter-approved measures requiring the supermajority on tax votes dating back to 1993, according to the Times. It means the Legislature can now pass tax increases with a simple majority in both houses.