State election officials confirmed last week that voters on Nov. 2 narrowly approved Initiative 601, a measure that beginning in fiscal 1996 will limit annual increases in state general fund expenditures.

The spending-limitation initiative won with 774,342 votes, or 51.2% in favor, and 737,735 votes, or 48.8%, opposed, said David Brine, public information officer for the secretary of state's office.

As previously reported, state officials in the immediate aftermath of the election said Initiative 601 was leading, but certification of its passage was delayed for the counting of the approximately 273,000 absentee ballots.

Washington State voters soundly rejected another anti-tax measure, known as Initiative 602, that would have established a limit on future state revenue growth based on a personal income formula. In final official tallies released last week, 673,378 votes, or 44.6%, were cast in favor of the initiative, and 836,047 votes, or 55.4%, were cast in opposition.

Initiative 601, meanwhile, requires voter approval on any legislative action to raise taxes before July 1995. After that date, the Legislature by a two-thirds vote can raise general fund taxes up to a spending limit based on a formula involving inflation and population growth.

However, any action to raise revenues in excess of the spending limit requires voter approval.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.