“A progressive tax system at both the federal and state level, including taxing unearned income at the same rate as earned income, a state income tax offset by cuts in regressive taxes (e.g. sales tax), a state capital gains (income) tax, eliminating the Business and Occupation tax in favor of a flat 1% corporate income tax, and a 0.25% financial transaction tax on Wall Street trading.”
You may be thinking, “what did I just read?” Welcome to the 2016 Washington Democrat Party Platform. An income tax, or lack thereof, attracts innovative business, retirees, and millennials from all over the 50 states. Over the years, Washington voters have made themselves clear, we don’t want a state income tax. But with the McCleary case up in the air and the November election less than 60 days away, should we be worried?
Most recently, in 2010, voters shut down the state-wide initiative that would have implemented the long sought after income tax by the Democrats. Yet, every year, Democrat legislators present new legislation proposing in one way or another, a state income tax. Seattle-based lawmakers aren’t shy in their support of an income tax, but venture outside the city, and Democrats are not so quick to give explicit support. They know their constituents don’t want a state income-tax, so they substitute one tax for another, hoping voters can’t tell the difference. If the IRS doesn’t quibble about the different types of income tax, why should Washington voters?
It is not only important to King County, but to the entire state, that we hold a Republican majority in the State Senate, and win the majority in the State House. In 2012, Candidate Jay Inslee gave lip service in his opposition to new taxes and promised to veto them. Governor Jay Inslee was quick to reverse this position once elected, ruining any credibility he may have had on the issue. Inslee can debate the semantics of capital gains vs. income tax, but the end result is the same.
The 2017-2018 Legislative session will tackle a new budget including the very important McCleary decision to fully fund education in our state. It’s time Washington had a Republican governor to work with the legislature in Olympia to defeat any efforts towards a state income-tax.