Parker votes against clearing the way for new taxes

This initiative was not created in the waters of prosperity for times of ease, but was developed as a dam in the rapids ahead,’ Parker says


The House of Representatives today suspended voter-approved Initiative 960. Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, voted against overturning the initiative, which passed 51-47.

  • requires public notifications and 10-year cost projections when bills are introduced, heard and passed which increase taxes or fees;
  • enforces and clarifies a two-thirds majority vote requirement of the Legislature, or a vote of the people, to increase taxes;
  • requires notice to voters in the voters’ pamphlet regarding actions by legislators that raise taxes; and
  • requires an advisory vote from the public when taxes are increased.

If the governor signs Senate Bill 6130suspending this initiative, the second, third and fourth parts of the initiative listed above will be null immediately.

“This initiative was not created in the waters of prosperity for times of ease, but was developed as a dam in the rapids ahead, and this is where we find ourselves today,” Parker said. “There are two ways to create revenue: we could ask more from individuals, or we could decide to create a long-term sustainable funding source so that we’re not back here in just a few years having this same conversation.

“One of my constituents told me the difference between a statesman and a politician is that a politician thinks of today, while a statesman thinks of tomorrow,” he said. “When government overspends, the middle class gets left behind, and next are the poor. None of us came to the Legislature for the status quo, and yet we legislate it again and again and again. We are creating a vicious cycle that will become more and more difficult for this state to get out of in the years to come.”

Parker noted history teaches several lessons about how the economy operates with tax increases.

“American history shows times where reduces taxes spurred the economy, while increased taxes only extended the suffering. We’ve seen four empires fall because their debt and taxes became too high for their everyday economy,” Parker said. “Thomas Paine once said, ‘These are the times that try men’s souls,’ but I would argue that these are not the times to tax them.”


Contact: Sarah Lamb, public information officer, (360) 786-7720


Washington State House Republican Communications