The Washington State ballot has several advisory votes about tax increases approved by the legislature. Because of Tim Eyman’s anti-tax initiative, voters are given the opportunity to vote to “Maintain” or “Repeal” any tax increases and any eliminations of tax loopholes (aka “preferences”). (The votes are non-binding.)

What’s particularly annoying about these advisory votes is the phrasing. For example, concerning Advisory Vote No 13 Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6138, the ballot says:

The legislature increased business and occupation tax revenues and excluded certain software manufacturers from a retail sales tax exception, without a vote of the people, costing $1,449,000,000 for government spending.

Who the heck chose that language? The elimination of the tax loophole doesn’t cost anything to most people or to the government. It’s revenue, not expenditure. It’s eliminating a special-interest giveaway.  The last phrase — “government spending” — echoes a conservative talking point.

I’m sure many voters will be confused by those ballot items.

Washington State ballot language concerning advisory votes

Leave a Reply