Income Tax Ballot Measures

Washington voters have been asked on 11 separate occasions to adopt a state personal income tax or corporate income tax. Only the first vote, in 1932, was successful, and that measure was subsequently thrown out by the state Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision on September 8, 1933.


Year Title Description Yes No
1932 Initiative to the People 69 An Act relating to and requiring the payment of a graduated tax on the incomes of persons, firms, corporations, associations, joint stock companies and common law trusts, the proceeds therefrom to be placed in the state current school fund and other state funds, as a means of reducing or eliminating the annual tax on general property which now provides revenues for such funds; providing penalties for violation; and making an appropriation from the general fund of the state treasury for paying expenses of administration of the act. 70% 30%
1934 House Joint Resolution 11 A resolution amending section 1 of Article VII of the constitution by providing that all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only; providing that there shall be such exemptions from taxation as the legislature may by general law provide; and providing that nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent the enactment of a graduated net income tax law. 43% 57%
1936 Senate Joint Resolution 7 A Proposal to repeal section 12, article XI and amend sections 1 and 9, article VII of the constitution by providing: uniform taxation upon the same class of subjects; that the legislature may provide exemptions and graduated net income tax, may vest municipalities with power to make local improvements by special assessment or taxation; cannot require counties or municipalities to tax for county or municipal purposes but may under legislative restriction, vest them with such authority. 22% 78%
1938 Senate Joint Resolution 5 A Proposal to amend Section 1, Article VII of the Constitution of the State of Washington relating to taxation by providing that nothing contained in said section shall be construed to prevent the enactment of a graduated net income tax law. 33% 67%
1942 Constitutional Amendment Article VII, Sec. 2 A Proposal to amend Article VII of the Constitution by adding a new section, section 2, providing that income shall not be construed as property for the purpose of taxation, and empowering the legislature to enact graduated net income taxes, and to provide exemptions, offsets and deductions. 34% 66%
1944 Initiative to the People 158 An act relating to revenue and taxation; providing for the levy and collection of a three per cent tax on gross income; providing for certain exemptions and deductions; providing for the disposition of revenue derived hereunder; prescribing monthly payments of not less than sixty dollars to certain aged, blind, disabled or widowed persons from an Employment and Retirement Mutual Insurance Fund, herein created; prescribing duties of officers and procedure in relation hereto; regulating disposition of payments by beneficiaries; defining terms and prescribing penalties. 30% 70%
1970 House Joint Resolution 42 Shall the state constitution be amended to reduce the maximum allowable rate of taxation against property to 1 percent of true and fair value in the absence of authorized excess levies, and to permit the legislature to tax income at a single rate without regard to this limitation or, after 1975, at a graduated rate if the voters in that year or thereafter approve the removal of the single rate limitation? 32% 68%
1973 House Joint Resolution 37 Shall a graduated net income tax be authorized, excess levies for school operations be prohibited, and some excise taxes limited? 23% 77%
1975 Initiative to the People 314 Shall corporations pay a 12% excise tax measured by income so that special school levies may be reduced or eliminated? 33% 67%
1982 Initiative to the People 435 Shall corporate franchise taxes, measured by net income, replace sales taxes on food and state corporate business and occupation taxes? 34% 66%
2010 Initiative Measure 1098 Initiative Measure No. 1098 concerns establishing a state income tax and reducing other taxes. This measure would tax 'adjusted gross income' above $200,000 (individuals) and $400,000 (joint-filers), reduce state property tax levies, reduce certain business and occupation taxes, and direct any increased revenues to education and health. 36% 64%