Initiative 1648 – “term limits for new taxes” – fails to qualify for November ballot. But transportation funding at risk from I-976.

Initiative 1648, initiative entrepreneur Tim Eyman’s effort to undo last session’s tax increases, came up short in the signature count yesterday. Jerry Cornfield reports in the Everett Herald,

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman failed Friday to gather enough signatures for his measure to erase tax increases approved by lawmakers earlier this year.

He said “just under 200,000” people signed petitions for Initiative 1648 but that was tens of thousands shy of what was required to get on the November ballot.

The proposal put a one-year time limit on any tax increase passed by lawmakers unless it is also approved by voters. And the measure called for repealing every tax hike enacted in the 2019 session. That would have included increases in taxes on professional service businesses, banks, travel agents, and petroleum producers.

To earn a spot on the November ballot, he needed to submit valid signatures of at least 259,622 registered voters by 5 p.m. Friday.

But that doesn’t mean November doesn’t dome with a lot of budget uncertainty. Initiative 976 will be on the ballot. The measure, an initiative to the Legislature that qualified last January, goes to the voters automatically after lawmakers chose not to act on it.

We’ll have much more on I-976 in the coming months. Our Connect priority speaks directly to our state’s transportation challenges.

Since we began, lawmakers and voters have acted to improve transportation in the state in the face of rapidly growing population and aging infrastructure. Progress is being made. As the No on I-976 makes clear, 

All parts of our state are growing, and some of our worst growing pains are around commutes and transportation.

Our roads and highways are some of the most congested in the nation, causing us to spend hundreds of hours stuck in traffic each year. We also have roads and bridges in dangerous condition and freight corridors in need of improvement.

Tim Eyman’s I-976 would devastate our already strained transportation system by stopping projects from Spokane to Seattle, Bellingham to Vancouver and all points in between.

More later.