Washington Voters Approve Anti-Tax Ballot Measure - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Voters Approve Anti-Tax Ballot Measure

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OLYMPIA, WA - Washington voters have approved a ballot measure that gives state lawmakers a choice: By April 15, pass a constitutional amendment that raises the threshold needed for the Legislature to pass taxes, or else the state's sales tax will be cut by one percent.

The latest returns Friday show Initiative 1366 has about 52 percent of the statewide vote. The measure would decrease the 6.5-percent state sales tax to 5.5 percent unless the Legislature sends to the November 2016 ballot the amendment that would reinstate a two-thirds legislative majority requirement. 

Currently, taxes can be raised through a simple-majority vote of the Legislature. While Washington has long been a generally solid Democratic state, Republicans have made inroads in recent years and there has long been a strong anti-tax sentiment among voters, who have four times over the past decade sought to limit lawmakers' ability to raise taxes and fees.