Just in time for what, I'm not sure—we're not voting on initiatives in the Aug. 17 primary—the Seattle Times editorial page is out today with a warning that Bill Gates Sr.'s income-tax-instituting Initiative 1098 wants to "Calitaxicate" our state. The Times that under I-1098:
We would have high rates of sales and income taxes, which would be putting up a sign saying: Don't invest here. Don't create jobs here.
California did that. Its state income tax on high earners is 10.8 percent, and its sales tax mostly ranges from 8.75 to 9.75 percent. Such high levels of tax have not brought wealth and balanced budgets to California. Skilled people are leaving.
Can you guess that there's something the Times is leaving out?
There is, of course, and it's this: Unlike California's income tax, the income tax proposed under I-1098 only applies only to individuals earning over $200,000 a year (or $400,000 for couples) and it taxes those people's income at a lower rate than California does. Also, as 1098 spokesperson Sandeep Kaushik points out, the initiative "exempts 80 percent of the state's businesses from the B&O [tax] and cuts the state property tax."
That's not, uh, Californiataxication.