Re: "Majority enough for school bond elections?" (TNT, 2-15).
Washington voters have affirmed the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases five times during the past 20 years. School bonds only require a 60 percent voter approval before the burden of new taxes is levied on the backs of property owners. This voter approval threshold is the only protection property owners have to restrain the temptation of new taxes by school districts.
Only 1 in 10 houses sold in Pierce County in 2013 was bought by individual homeowners. With the majority of the remaining homes being bought by major private investment firms to become rentals, there is a clear need that the current constitutional protection afforded local, long-term property owners be maintained against the enactment of lengthy and costly tax assessments by a transitory public.
Any argument that the necessity to maintain such property owner protection is no longer distinguishable and necessary in today's housing market is mistaken.
Never miss a local story.
There are nearly two dozen supermajority requirements in the Washington Constitution. They were put there to require a high vote threshold for certain government actions. Many have been part of the constitution since 1889.
The higher vote requirements are not undemocratic and often are not even controversial. Clearly following the constitutional precedents for requiring a higher vote turnout for certain governmental actions is democratic and embracing of our core constitutional doctrine. Don't let arguments to the contrary mislead and obfuscate the truth of why HJR 4204 is a bad bill.