• In 2010, Initiative 1098 was sent to the ballot in Washington State. It would have imposed a new income tax on the wealthiest 1 percent of Washingtonians. Washington is one of seven states that levy no state tax on income of any kind.
  • On November 2, 2010, Washington voters defeated the new tax by a 64-36 margin. This is despite the millions of dollars poured into the effort by national public employee unions. It is the ninth time Washington voters have rejected an income tax at the polls.

Washington State’s Buffett Rule, November 2, 2010


1,616,273 (64.15%)


903,319 (35.85%)

Washington State voters have a long history of rejecting a personal income tax

  • 1934 – Voters reject constitutional amendment allowing for income tax.
  • 1936 – Voters reject constitutional amendment SJR 7 allowing for income tax.
  • 1938 – Voters reject constitutional amendment SJR 5 allowing for income tax.
  • 1942 – Voters reject another income tax measure. 
  • 1970 – Voters reject constitutional amendment HJR 42 allowing for income tax.
  • 1973 – Voters reject a HJR 37, providing for corporate and personal income tax, by a 3-to-1 margin.
  • 1975 – Voters reject Initiative 314, a 12% corporate income tax proposal.
  • 1982 – Voters reject Initiative 435, a corporate income tax proposal.
  • 2010 – Voters reject Initiative 1098, a personal income tax on high earners.

Even with millions of dollars of union money and a populist, tax-the-rich message, Washington blue state voters have consistently seen through the rhetoric and rejected higher taxes.

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