Bailey calls for special session on I-747

State Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, has lent her name to those calling for a special session of the Legislature to reinstate Initiative 747.

The initiative was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court earlier this month. Essentially, it limited taxing districts to a 1 percent increase annually in property taxes without a vote of the people. Prior to the initiative, the annual limit was 6 percent.

Bailey, speaking Friday from Everett where she was caught up in a traffic jam, said a special session is needed “to put back into statute what the people wanted ... the voters knew what they were voting on.” The Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the 5-4 vote said voters might have been confused by the initiative, which was sponsored by Tim Eyman.

Asked about the action last week by North Whidbey Fire and Rescue to raise taxes by 6 percent, contingent on the action’s ultimate legality, Bailey said that was the wrong approach to increasing revenue.

“If voters see the need to respond they’ll respond,” she said. “So add the 6 percent but let the voters decide.”

Bailey and other Republicans are petitioning Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire to call a special session to address the I-747 issue. Bailey recommends Nov. 28 to 30 when legislators will be in Olympia for committee meetings.

Gregoire has suggested that the Legislature put the strictures of I-747 back in place, but she has not committed herself to a special session. The regular session opens in mid-January.

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