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November 2, 2010 at 8:57 PM

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Washington voters make it tougher for state to raise taxes

Posted by Jonathan Martin

UPDATE 10:49 p.m. As excited as Eyman was about the passage of Initiative 1053, he said he was more excited about an initiative he sponsored in his hometown of Mukilteo on red light cameras. That initiative requires voter approval for the installation of red light cameras in the city and limits the fine to $20.

Red light cameras have been controversial in cities like Seattle and Bellevue, with opponents accusing the cities of installing them just to pad city budgets with the high fines the cameras can bring in. The cities argue that red-light cameras increase safety at dangerous sections that are difficult to patrol.

The Mukilteo initiative was passing more than two-to-one - at margins even larger than Initiative 1053 - on Tuesday night. Eyman said plenty of people told him they had never agreed with him before, but they supported this initiative.

"My heart of hearts is tied to Mukilteo," he said.

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Tim Eyman's Initiative 1053 won by a resounding two-to-one margin, with voters adamant about a super-majority requirement in the Legislature for any new taxes. The initiative won in nearly every county, including liberal King County.

"Unless Kinko's prints up extra ballots for King County all night long, I think we've got it," Eyman told the Times' Lynda Mapes at the GOP election party in Bellevue.

He credited an electorate fed up with sending money to Olympia. He said he found voters this year "skeptical, critical, and eager to send a message. And that message was don't even think about raising taxes in a recession."

He called a state income tax, which was being resoundingly defeated, "three words that are just radioactive" in Washington state. "It was dead on arrival, before they even filed the initiative."

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