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AGLO 1970 No. 147 - November 16, 1970
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Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington
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                                                               November 16, 1970
 
 
 
Honorable James E. Keefe
State Senator, Third District
W 412 Glass
Spokane, Washington
                                                                                                             Cite as:  AGLO 1970 No. 147
 
 
Dear Senator Keefe:
 
            This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion regarding the effect of the recent rejection of H.J.R. No. 42 upon the provisions of chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess. (House Bill No. 582).
 
                                                                     ANALYSIS
 
            First, you have made reference to § 69 of chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., which provides as follows:
 
            "If either section 5 or section 11 of this act is held invalid, the whole of this act shall be deemed invalid."
 
            Sections 5 and 11, which are referred to in the foregoing section, provide for the imposition of individual and corporate income taxes, respectively.  Your first question is whether the voters' rejection of the proposed constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. 42 should be deemed as an "invalidation" of §§ 5 and 11, so as to render the entire act invalid.  Our answer to this question is as follows:
 
            The specific relationship between the provisions of chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., and the proposed constitutional amendment contained in H.J.R. No. 42 is set forth in § 71 of the act, as follows:
 
            "The provisions of sections 1 through 69 of this 1969 amendatory act shall take effect as follows:
 
            "(1) If the proposed amendment to Article 7 of the state Constitution (Engrossed House Joint Resolution No. 42) authorizing the legislature to impose a tax upon net income is validly submitted and is approved and ratified by the voters at a general election held in November, 1969:
 
             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
            "(a) The provisions of sections 1 through 69 of this act authorizing the department to make rules and regulations and prescribe forms shall take effect January 1, 1970; and
 
            "(b) All other provisions of sections 1 through 69 of this act shall take effect January 1, 1971.
 
            "(2) If the proposed amendment to Article 7 of the state Constitution (Engrossed House Joint Resolution No. 42) authorizing the legislature to impose a tax upon net income is validly submitted and is approved and ratified by the voters at a general election held in November, 1970:
 
            "(a) The provisions of sections 1 through 69 of this act authorizing the department to make rules and regulations and prescribe forms shall take effect January 1, 1961; and
 
            "(b) All other provisions of sections 1 through 69 of this act shall take effect January 1, 1972.
 
            "In the event that sections 1 through 69 of this act do not take effect as provided in this section, sections 1 through 69 of this act shall be null and void."
 
            In accordance with this section, the true effect of the defeat of H.J.R. No. 42 upon the provisions of chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., is that of precluding the act from ever taking effect in the first place.  In other words, the act has not been invalidated by the voters' disapproval of the proposed constitutional amendment; instead, the voters' disapproval of H.J.R. No. 42 has simply precluded chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., from ever becoming effective.
 
            However, turning to your remaining question, this disposition of chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., in no way negates or withdraws the existing statutory authority of the state to impose and collect the sales and use taxes, property taxes, or the state business and occupation taxes.  These taxes may continue to be collected under the provisions of chapter 82.08 RCW (retail sales tax); chapter 82.12 RCW (use tax); chapter 84.52 RCW (property taxes); and chapter 82.04 RCW (business and occupation tax).  The only "impact" upon these statues which  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] the defeat of H.J.R. No. 42, and its resulting effect upon chapter 262, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., has had is to prevent certain amendments which were contained in this act from becoming effective.
 
            It is hoped that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
 
Very truly yours,
 
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
 
 
Philip H. Austin
Assistant Attorney General
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