National Study Confirms: "Washington State Has, by Far, the US’s Most Regressive State Tax System."

Comments

1
I'm kind of stunned you have us beaten here in VA!
2
The GOP killed any chance of fixing this but don't worry, they'll paint themselves as the ones who are trying to work across the aisle.
3
What makes the 2/3 majority 'possibly unconstitutional'? I'm guessing that there is specific verbiage involving revenue or senate procedure... anybody??
4
So Washington needs to be more like Montana.

Noted.
5
@3, one person, one vote.
6
pissing in the wind until 2017. don't even bother posting about it.
7
You could also put all tax exemptions up for an automatic 2/3 majority renewal vote of the People at every Presidential General Election.

That would help.
8
@3 it's actually in the State Constitution that all budget or finance votes are simple majority.
10
We should be like Oregon. Every income group pays about 10% or their income in taxes whether they are in the top 1%, middle 20%, or bottom 20% of income earners. It is neither progressive or regressive.

Everyone chips in. Everyone has skin in the game. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income into the collective kitty. Not unlike Europe where highly regressive taxes on the poor and middle class, paired with high tax rates on the wealthy, means everyone is burdened the same as a percentage of income (40% to 60% of income). I think Europe's rates are too high, but unlike the U.S., at least they hit all income groups with the same proportionate level of pain. All but three European countries have tax codes that are less progressive (local+state+national taxes) than those in the U.S. We need to make Federal taxes in the U.S. less progressive, and state taxes, starting with Washington, less regressive. Make everyone pay the same percentage of their income to support the common good.
11
I am officially going to hold my breath until the WA Legislators & their ally Governor Inslee re-organize the tax code into a much, much more fair structure, because I know they will do it right away! So important is this issue.

Here's goes! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaP!
... ... ... ... . . . . .
12
Shorter @10: flat taxes are great ron paul 2016!
13
So its the Republican's fault? Hmm. Seems the D's were in total control for a long time and did NOTHING about this situation. The fault is shared, but inaction by Ds has to be acknowledged.
14
@ Yep, the D's are fucking cowards when it comes to legislating new revenue sources. But, that at least seems more hopeful than the R's approach. However, the D's were hindered by some turncoats for a few years (not that I'm sure it made any different).

There is likely a 0% percent chance of addressing any of this until all 3 branches are back in D hands.

15
@13, shhh, they don't want to hear that. Next you'll be pointing out how few of Eyman's "passed" initiatives have been upheld, instead being enacted by elected lawmakers via legislative vote.
16
@14 All 3 branches were in D hands under Gregoire. They passed a modest soda and candy tax to reduce the amount of cuts to social services. The voters promptly endorsed an Eyman referendum to repeal it. The referendum even carried in King County.

Liberals want the services and don't want to pay for them. Conservatives want tax cuts and don't want to pay for them. Voters enable and support it. A pox on both the Depublicans and Remocrats in Olympia. As to the voters, "We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
17
We don't have income tax. What tax are we speaking of here?
18
@16 is completely correct.

The republicans are the worst, because they seem to eagerly want to gut every aspect of government. But the democrats in our state have cowardly ducked this issue for years and years when they had control of all branches of state government. The voters are completely complicit as well, having voted down every attempt to pass an income tax by ballot initiative.

The republicans fucked us. The democrats cowered in their burrows. And we fucked ourselves.
19
I see. Those poor bastards making, say $30k for a family of 4, pay near $5k of that in nonfood taxes,according to this study. But to be fair, only $3800 or so came from sales and excise taxes of around 10% That is, according to this study, $38 grand in consumer purchases, plus food and property taxes of another couple thusand- all on a $30k income. Well now, ah do call them figures jest amazin'. In a spending crazy year my family may spend $10k on taxable goods (not related to my business). These poor folks know how to live, spending nearly 4 times that every single year!

The figures from this study are plainly impossible. Or lying.
20
@16, 17

Oddly I agree. A reasonable income tax that's not punitive to hard working citizens would be a more stable way of funding Olympia. But Inslee proposing to put all the burden for balancing state books on 1% of the citizens already paying he lions share? Hardly an inducement for believing any income tax dems came up with would be other than punitive.
21
@19: Speaking of lying, whose ass are you pulling those numbers out of? Your phony-baloney Southern drawl doesn't make sense here. What's it supposed to convey? That you think we're trying to pull one over on rural people? That you consider yourself some kind of antebellum Southern gentleman? What are you trying to say? Is Little Timmy in a well?

On to the ACTUAL figures from the study:
The second quintile (average income: $30,300) in Washington State pays on average 11.7% of their income in taxes, of which 9.4% is in sales & excise taxes, of which 3.6% is in taxes on business. If you look at the first quintile (average income $11,900), the rates are, respectively, 16.8%, 12.6%, and 4.8%. (source)
If you care to explain how you went from THAT to the sourceless numbers you threw around in your post, I'll happily explain to you why you're wrong to assume that the study is somehow lying. Deal?
23
Okay, kiddo. Your $30k a year family is spending three of that on sales and excise taxes. Now, if I pay $3000 in taxes at 10% rates on sales, how much did I purchase in actual goods or services?

See, junior, the numbers just don't work. The study authors think nobody should pay taxes but the top few? Fine, or not. But to fudge numbers on a study to make a bogus point? Not so fine.
24
@21
Oh, and I read the numbers in the link on my state. Didn't bother looking any further, since clearly the study authors are stupid, ignorant or lying. Which combination of these it was didn't much matter to me.
25
@22
And you have a pleasant evening as well.
26
@Subhumanblues, the adults are talking now, run along.

Here go watch this, for you, mental age appropriate video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxeuAFYT…

27
@23, 24: I'm still not seeing any explanation of where these made-up hypothetical numbers are coming from.

I'll explain it to you anyway. You're looking at a 10% effective tax rate and thinking: "Sales tax is 10% at most. Do the study's people expect me to believe that people spend their entire income on taxable goods?" You're failing entirely to see that general sales taxes only take up about 3% of their income, with about 2.5% going to other sales and excise tax, and another 3.5% or so going to taxes on business, which tend to be based on gross receipts rather than net income.

Also, here's the thing: when you're poor or working class, you're going to spend almost as much as you earn. If you don't, you're unnecessarily lowering your standard of living, which is not something you particularly want to do in such a situation. If you're living in a crummy apartment, you're not going to move to an even crummier one just to save a few dollars in order to impress Seattleblues, self-appointed arbiter of what is reasonable and what is not.

Look at that, the armchair expert who thinks himself wiser than our nation's doctors, biologists, historians, and judges in aggregate was pitifully wrong and short-sighted yet again. Such a shame.
28
@18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25:

LOOK, THERE! EVIL PURE AND SIMPLE!
29
@27

My numbers are the hypothetical or made up ones from the study author. Straight from the link to their analysis of my state.

Sales tax in Washington is between 6.8 and 9.8 percent, depending on location. On rent? Taxes are based on the landlords overall income from the property, and are not paid by the tenant. Food? No taxes. Internet or interstate purchases? No sales tax, unless it's a vehicle being newly registered after such a purchase.

So, consumer purchases and a car total (even by your figure of 3% in general sales tax, at odds with the Washington Department of Revenue which claims such taxes are the biggest source of state revenue, are 9 grand a year? (3% of 30k is $900, which assumes nearly $9000 in consumer purchases) on an income of 30k? Bullshit. Even by your distorted figures, it's bullshit.
30
I make less than 30k a year, and I do live paycheck to paycheck with no savings. I don't know of any one in my situation who has a much different financial outlook. Do the higher class people really not know how much it sucks to be poor?
31
@ 29, do you pay your rental property taxes with funds that originate in the form of rent payments from your tenants? If yes, your tenants pay for your property taxes. Especially if you include the taxes you pay as part if the overhead of owning rental property.
32
Ever notice how weak the Democrats are when they "ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more?". Try this: "We're tired of the rich in this state making us pay their taxes. The free ride is over fellas, time to pay up!"
34
@29: I'm glad to see you don't really know how to put together a budget.
35
@34

Whatever kiddo. If patently absurd numbers are what you need to make your political ideas work...

What am I saying? You're a lefty. Of course patently absurd numbers are what you need to justify your infantile worldviews.
36
Quit blaming the Democrats. For most of the last 22 years, starting with voters passing I-601 it has required a 2/3 vote of both houses of the Legislature to raise taxes. The times the Democrats suspended the 2/3 rule by a majority vote and raised taxes voters repealed them. Voters rejected an income tax even though it is fairer than sales taxes in that you only pay it if you re earning income. Last year the Washington State Supreme Court threw out the 2/3 vote requirement as unconstitutional. But Republicans controlled the Senate as they do today and they opposed revenue increases to fund state services. It's the voters and the Republicans that are stopping tax reform for a fairer tax system, not the Democrats. Until voters speak up and demand change for a fairer tax system, like taxing capital gains and putting a pollution tax on carbon and sunsetting tax loopholes or implementing an income tax and lowering the sales tax at the same time, Washington State will remain the most regressive tax system in the country.
37
@35: So my argument is: "Here are the data collected by this study and here is a brief explanation of what they mean and how things fit together." Your argument is "I don't think those numbers are real; they seem too big to me for them to make sense." (Paraphrasing on both accounts, naturally.) And YOU are saying that I'M the one not connected to the reality of things? Excuse me, your response to data is to say that you think the data are maliciously fabricated; you don't point to a conflict of interest or provide evidence of data fabrication, you just say you think they are.
This is the exact same shit as your argument against evolution: "I just can't understand how it could possibly be true!" NEWS FLASH, YOU NINNY-HAMMER: THERE ARE SOME THINGS ON EARTH THAT ESCAPE YOUR COMPREHENSION. Your leap from "I don't understand this" to "this is false" is testament to your pathetic belief that you understand everything. When you're done playing God, maybe we can have an actual discussion where we back up our stances with evidence instead of citing our guts.
40
@37

Yep! If you cite numbers that simply cannot work, I'm going to question those numbers. And no matter how you cut it, this study is parsing data in a way that's dishonest.

But, let's play devils advocate. All these patently absurd numbers are scrupulously arrived at, the statistical voice of God himself. The poor are forced to spend half their meager 30k a year on consumer non food purchases, than must buy food, pay rent and so on.

How much are these folks getting in various government programs? Food and rent assistance? Medical insurance for their kids? Etc etc, etc?

Calling someone who gets more from government than they pay in taxes a 'taxpayer' with a straight face is one of the dumbest things lefties do. And that's saying something!
41
@40: "numbers that simply cannot work" "this study is parsing data in a way that's dishonest" [citation needed]
I'm sorry, you're going to need to bring some evidence to the table if you want to act like you've got the facts on your side. It's a good impulse to question things that don't make sense, but at some point you need to find a viable alternative explanation backed up by facts. Galileo didn't just go "geocentrism doesn't make sense; I think the Earth orbits the Sun". No, he went and got EVIDENCE.
You're welcome to think that the study is lying, but you're quite arrogant to expect people to believe you (some schmo on the Internets) just because you think so, without any supporting evidence. You can call the study's numbers and conclusions absurd until you're blue in the face and you've worn out your keyboard, but it doesn't change the fact that you're not supplying any evidence to back up your statements. Are you allergic to empiricism or something?

"Calling someone who gets more from government than they pay in taxes a 'taxpayer' with a straight face is one of the dumbest things lefties do."
By your logic, no public school teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, publicly-funded researchers or doctors, or any sort of government official is a 'taxpayer' because they get more money from the government than they give. Now, I know what your response is going to be: "but those people contribute to society! they've earned their wages!"
Bullshit. You didn't think military veterans had earned it when you called for them to be evicted from subsidized housing to make room for people with more money. And when we throw some money at poor people, it's for the good of society. Give a man an interview suit and you help him get a job so he's not begging on the streets. Give a family health insurance and they won't clog up ERs and then dump the bill on taxpayers, because they'll be able to get cheap preventative care instead. Give a mother food subsidies and she'll raise her children better because she'll have more time to actually parent them instead of rushing from day job to day job to night job. Hell, it benefits you in the long run to invest in society!
Your concern may be for people getting free shit they didn't earn, but my concern is for the good of our nation.
42
@41

Call it what you like. If someone offers to sell me a house for $10k, only he doesn't own it yet on account of lost papers and... Well, I'll give it a cursory look, but if the numbers don't make sense, they just don't and I'm not wasting a lot of time figuring out why. And a family spending half of their already meager income on consumer goods? Either their poverty is well deserved from very bad choices, or somebody is just lying about their spending habits. Guess which happened here, boy.

As to social spending, you missed the point. And lied. People who earn their money from a job or national service are NOT the same as those who get money or equivalent given them for...aitting on their asses. Do we need maybe a quarter of those jobs government employs? Yes. Absolutely. But that doesn't alter the principle- earning a living and merely being given one aren't the same things.

Nor, except in your lies, have I called for veterans to be evicted. No longer getting a free living is, again, not the same as eviction.

As to the heart string stirring appeals- save them. Your social programs don't help people out of poverty. They trap them in generations of dependance and incapacity. They don't save money, since that assumes the medical, nutritional and personal habits will change with these programs- for which assumption not a scintilla of evidence exists. In fact, under Obamacare none of the supposed savings have materialized, and im fact costs hve increased.
44
There is nothing to fix. The study is blatantly biased. The driving reason for the apparent discrepancy in tax structure is the Consumption Tax. Because higher income people actually save a significant portion of their income they are not as impacted by consumption taxes. However, if they ever actually want to use that money they've saved and spend it - guess what. They will actually pay consumption taxes at the same rate, or higher, than lower income people do. The study is further misleading because it ignores the Federal Income tax structure, which if accurately considered would turn those numbers upside down.