I hate to dwell on this too much, but I can’t help but emphasize how incredibly dishonest the Seattle Times editorial board is when it misleadingly compares I-1098’s proposed high-earners tax to California and Oregon’s broad-based income taxes:
The new tax created by I-1098 would top out at 9 percent of adjusted gross income, with no deductions. That’s not quite the highest rate in the country: Oregon’s, at 11 percent, is at the top. But Oregon has zero sales tax. 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.
In fact, it’s not anywhere near the highest rate in the country, because I-1098’s tax is only imposed on earnings in excess of the income threshold, rather than on all income, as in Oregon and California. For example, an Oregon household earning $400,000 would pay $38,274 in state income taxes, while an equally fortunate California household would pay $33,660.
By comparison, under I-1098, a Washington household earning $400,000 would pay… well… zero. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis. Absolutely nothing. And according to a new OFM report, the same would be true for 98.8% of Washington households.
So this idea that Washington’s top rate would be one of the highest in the nation is a lie of omission if I ever saw one… you know, kinda like when the Times argued that even high-tax/socialist Sweden eliminated its estate tax, while failing to inform readers that they replaced it with a 1.5% annual wealth tax.
Yeah, and I’m the partisan spinmeister.