(The Center Square) — Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman, the most prolific sponsor of Washington ballot measures in state history, has successfully stopped five proposed ballot initiatives that would raise tax on capital gains.
Sponsored by Seattle attorney Eric “Knoll” Lowney, Initiatives 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938 would have done one or a combination of the following actions: raise the capital gains threshold above which the capital gains tax must be paid, add or increase capital gains tax exemptions, and add a surtax or increase capital gains tax rates for higher capital gains amounts.
Kai Smith, an attorney with the Pacifica Law Group, sent an email Thursday to Tim Eyman and others that read, “The sponsor of I-1934 to 1938 has withdrawn the measures. This voids all pending cases appealing the ballot titles. Accordingly, we will file a motion to dismiss in each case. Please let us know today if you accept the motion to dismiss; if you do, we will prepare and file stipulated motions. Thanks.”
Eyman filed five separate lawsuits claiming that Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s voting titles on the initiatives ignored the law requiring neutral wording.
When the Attorney General’s office asked a judge to decide all five cases, Eyman objected, which required a hearing before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Indu Thomas.
Before allowing the consolidation review, Thomas posed a preliminary question regarding whether Lowney had erred in filing one lawsuit instead of five individual lawsuits.
In court briefs on the threshold issue, Lowney and the state argued for consolidating the cases based on precedent, while Eyman claimed that Lowney and his legal team violated state law. and local rules by not filing separate briefs.
Thomas agreed with Eyman, deny consolidation request.
On his Permanent offense website, Eyman reveled in taking credit for the initiatives’ demise because his “trials ran out of time.”
He went on to say, “Without my lawsuits, the conservative community – big and small businesses, rich people, wealthy people, everyday people – would have been forced to raise and spend MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to wage ANY campaign against PIGS initiatives. . .”
PIGS is Eyman’s favorite acronym for “Paudience Iinterest gbandS.”
Hearings with five different judges to decide the wording of the five initiative voting titles were to be scheduled. Petitions could only be printed after the judges had rendered their decisions.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, to be certified, petitions must contain at least 324,516 registered voters, with a recommendation that at least 405,000 signatures be collected to allow for invalid signatures, and be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on July 8.