Olympia Mar 27, 2023 at 9:00 am

Wait, Where's Everbody Going?

Democrats in here should do what the Republicans are afraid they will do and actually make our tax system fairer. Lester Black



Outside of some weird view of equity there isn't justification to pass an income tax. Most people don't trust the legislature to not expand it so it encompasses more than just the "rich", be accountable for the revenue and be transparent. Based on the last few years all of these things are more than justifiable reasons. While WA is the most "regressive" based on the progressives definition it actually has little bearing on equity. The state with the best ranking is CA and guess what they have the same issues we do only much much worse. If the legislature wants to make the case for an income tax it needs to start with being revenue neutral, it has to have limitations (e.g. that can't just turn around and expand it) and they need to be transparent with the voters about what they will do with the revenue. I seriously doubt we'll see any of those things come to pass so an income tax will remain a progressive fantasy.


If the Legislature wanted to, they could certainly get constitutional amendment(s) out to a vote.

If they linked any income tax to a commensurate reduction in the sales tax and/or B&O tax, I actually think it would pass handily.


This is a band-aid solution , not a reform. And like so many tax proposals, it’s another demonization of the wealthy, which just opens the door for the anti-govt crowd to complain.


Sure… and then you favor lowering property and sales taxes, right, Richie?


“Wait, Where's Everbody Going?”

To amend Washington state’s constitution, which is what will be needed to enact graduated taxes on income above 1%.

“Rather than take the bait, the Supreme Court simply declined to hear the case after the state's Court of Appeals ruled that Seattle had the authority to pass an income tax with exemptions but not exceed the state constitution's 1% limit on property tax rates.

“Though the Court gave Seattle the cold shoulder, Spitzer thinks that a law from the Legislature or a successful statewide initiative would carry more weight and prompt the justices to take up the case.”

Hey! Let’s try the same thing that already failed! It’ll work this time because shut up, that’s why!

“You need to overturn almost a century of consistent interpretation of our state’s constitution because of our flat-out, obvious lie that income is not property! Don’t worry, those same voters who elected you statewide will totally keep you in office for imposing on them something they have consistently rejected in many other elections!”


3, @4 - California's problem is the ridiculous Prop. 13 that penalizes young people and new arrivals, all while killing the state's ability to fund itself.


@8 I don't know if Rich favors that, but I would.

@9 If income is property, then employees own their jobs. Try citing that rule to your boss next time you get fired. Might be interesting.


@11: I’m not going to cite your nonsense to anyone except you. Now follow closely: income is money. Money is property. Washington state’s constitution limits property taxes to a flat rate of 1%. Therefore, the income tax Seattle enacted is limited to a flat 1% rate.

Amend Washington state’s constitution to allow taxes on income. Or continue to be a left-wing Tim Eyeman. Your choice.


I'd prefer a plain speaking approach to an income tax.

Sneaking around the corners and calling a capital gains tax an excise tax is well deceptive and a bit passive-aggressive. Just come out with and pass an state wide income tax. All the citizens can contribute to the costs of running this state... and Seattle would get a city income tax.-- "a virtual wet dream for the far left and socialists".

Yup, I'm all for it.


@13 that was definitely their plan with this tax. They really didn't care about the capital gains tax as much as it was about getting case in front of the SC that would allow them to revisit the income as property ruling that prohibits a graduation income tax. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for the rest of us) the court took the easy path out and allowed the capital gains tax without revisiting the income ruling so they have their tax but will have to find a new path forward on an income tax.

FWIW another poster has pointed out and is correct that to pass a constitutional amendment to adopt an income tax you would need a 2/3 vote in the legislature and a vote of the people. I don't think either is possible right now which is why you see these ruses from the progressives.


California 'tax the rich' State Income taxes are 8% of all your income above $43K!

Have fun with that!


@15 - just stop lying. The 8% rate kicks in at 53k for singles and 104k for married couples.


@16: Quibble over numbers all you want, that’s still not high-income by California standards. What advantages/benefits has this income tax given California over Washington?


@17 California's advantage -- a big one -- is a more stable and reliable revenue stream, with less susceptibility to swings in consumer behavior. Washington is simply too dependent on one form of tax (one that is getting harder to collect in full as more and more commerce moves online). That's why I'd support an income tax accompanied by a commensurate reduction in the sales tax, even to the point of making it revenue-neutral. We'd still be better off, as we'd have a tax structure that is both more stable and more equitable.

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