Guest Opinions

State tax grab ‘insane’

Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman is pushing a ballot measure in November that would cap vehicle license tabs at $30 per year.
Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman is pushing a ballot measure in November that would cap vehicle license tabs at $30 per year.

Do you know why Olympia is sitting on a whopping $3.2 billion tax surplus? Because politicians in the Legislature have raised taxes six legislative sessions in a row. That’s right, in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Jay “I’ll-never-raise-your-taxes” Inslee signed into law 19 tax hikes costing taxpayers nearly $24 billion. The state budget is bigger than it’s ever been — topping $50 billion — but the governor is asking for nearly $10 billion more .

And that’s just the start.

Despite so many costly tax hikes, politicians in Olympia are discussing and debating imposing new carbon taxes (which voters have rejected twice), a new state income tax (which voters have repudiated ten times), a capital gains income tax (same thing), higher car tab taxes, gas taxes, a new per-mile tax, and many others.

It’s insane. State government is drowning in our tax dollars but no matter how much they take from us, they’re always trying to take more. Olympia has an insatiable tax appetite.

And you know what really burns my britches? All those tax-hiking politicians are set to get massive salary bonuses starting in May.

Over the next two years, Jay Inslee is going to get paid his current governor’s salary of $354,000 as he runs for president. Does he deserve an additional $15,000 bonus? Bob Ferguson is going to take in $320,000 total over the next two years as attorney general. Does Ferguson really need an additional $14,000? State Supreme Court judges are going to get paid $380,000 over the next two years. Do you think they each deserve an extra $50,000 salary bonus? It’s pure gluttony. It’s obscene.

Seriously, this is crazy. Here’s two ways we, the people, can fight back:

1) “$30 Tabs Initiative” (I-976): Thanks to 352,000 voters who signed our petitions, I-976 is already on the ballot. Help us pass it in November. That tax surplus is the taxpayers’ money — it’s our money. The government overcharged us $3.2 billion and we deserve to get it back. Initiative 976 provides meaningful tax relief to regular taxpayers by lowering vehicle registration charges for everyone to a flat, reasonable $30 per year.

It repeals government taxes, fees, and other charges that politicians have recently added on. How would you like to go back to writing a check for $30 to license your car, truck, motorcycle, motor home, and other vehicles? Voters have twice voted for $30 tabs and those two public votes have literally saved taxpayers billions of dollars over the years. But those dirty dog politicians recently jacked them back up again. Enough is enough. Let’s give the little guy a tax break and tell Olympia to stop ignoring us.

2) Give Them Nothing – Referendum 80: Help us veto those massive salary bonuses for politicians. We’re collecting signatures right now to put it to a public vote. We need 160,000 signatures by May 7 to qualify.

If we succeed, they won’t get their massive salary bonuses unless voters approve them in November. We’re the employers, they are the employees — let’s remind them of that fact. Not one of those clowns deserves a penny more. Sign our online petition here: Call or email me and ask for petitions. Help us let the voters decide.

Tim Eyman is a longtime initiative activist who grew up in Yakima, is a WAZZU grad, and now lives in Bellevue. You can contact him at or 509-991-5295.