by Goldy, 11/28/2005, 9:12 AM

The Seattle Times has an interesting piece on an unusual political split:

The Washington Association of Realtors has launched a $1 million campaign aimed at squashing a proposed tax increase on real-estate sales.

The group has started running TV, radio and newspaper ads warning that the tax increase would cost homeowners thousands of dollars in “hard-earned equity” when they go to sell.

But in their fight, the Realtors face an unlikely foe: the typically anti-tax Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW).

The homebuilders group, which

78 Responses to “BIAW supports higher taxes (on other people)”

1. sgmmac spews:

My property taxes are high enough, and regardless of my conservative views, I am going to vote to raise them come February to pay for a school bond. Impact fees are supposed to pay for NEW roads, NEW schools, etc.

2. Mr. Cynical spews:

Sgmmac–
You are correct…impact fees can only cover certain costs of GROWTH. This can become a very tricky issue. Goldy is missing a key point…owners of undeveloped land have also paid property taxes on the value of that land. So they have helped pay for existing services while not really being a user.

Goldy–
Read the laws about what impact fees can cover and what they cannot before you make up your mind on this one. It’s easy to try and gouge “newcomers”. The problem is impact fees do negatively impact the COST of new housing. Another key point is impact fees must be justified. I have seen communities attempt to save dying School Districts that already are taxing to their legal maximum. Desperate for money because of shortfalls caused by declining enrollment (they lose the $4-5,000/student State & Federal funding)….some School Districts and anti-growth groups have proposed Impact Fees unsuccessfully for the simple reason that their is no impact. In fact, some retirement communities should have negative impact fees, essentially PAYING families to come, because of undercapacity schools with declining enrollment. The same goes for Parks and other legitimate Impact Fee issues.

I look forward to a healthy discussion and vetting of this issue. Personally, I would rather see more money get to local governments so they can make decisions about their own communities (good or bad…..for better or worse) rather than have Big Brother & Big Sister controlling almost everything.

3. Mr. Cynical spews:

One other point Goldy—
Many communities have not adequately maintained existing infrastructure. Impact Fees cannot be used for maintenance of EXISTING infrastructure. They can only be used for the cost of growth…essentially expanding capacity.

4. Dr. Quest spews:

Mr. Cynical: Your usual rants don’t exhibit such a clear understanding of the issues involved in this, what some would consider, arcane topic. Is this just a hobby of yours or do you have some axes to grind here? Do you work for the BIAW?

5. For the Clueless spews:

owners of undeveloped land have also paid property taxes on the value of that land.

And then they reap a windfall when the growth comes to them. While waiting they have a vacation property or can charge all kinds of rents from cabin rental to logging, farming, hunting and grazing fees. Oldest trick in the book.

Ironically a sane progressive tax system will probably lower their property tax.

there are winners and losers whenever you fiddle with the tax code.

Absolutely – and the winners from an overhauled tax system should be low income and working poor people who pay a ridiculous share of their income in state taxes and small medium sized business who create most jobs. The losers will be outrageous freeloaders of all types who couldn’t possibly make it in any state with a more balanced tax system.

6. hardovertoport spews:

I’m assuming the developer could recoverimpact fees at the time of sale of the house. For the individual buying a home in new development, the impact fee would be spread out over the length of the loan and some of it could be crecouped as a deduction on the interest they pay on their mortgage. I guess my question is…if it were a tax on the sale of property, does our FEDERAL income tax structure allowe for a tax deduction> And..for the developers, since they have to pay the impact fee, and so they have to borrow money to cover that when they build their development, do they ahve a chanc e to recover those fees through interest deduction on their loans?.

Didn’t Washington have a real estate property transfer fee in the late eighties/early nineties?

Don’t know where I am on this, jsut asking?

7. Donnageddon spews:

It has been long established that Mr. C-I is a paid shill for the BIAW.

8. sgmmac spews:

Let me see, a person buys a home, the developer pays impact fees to build new roads, new schools, etc., the homeowners pay property taxes to maintain the roads, schools, etc, the homeowners pay sales tax when they buy, now someone wants developers to stop paying impact fees, and they want homeowners who are selling their home to pay for future roads, and future schools……… These developers in cahoots with the enviro-nazi’s get a growth management act that lets them build houses on top of each other, while clear cutting all of the trees are destroying and denuding our cities of all natural fir trees now want to pay less? I want them to pay more and I want the fir trees back in my community. They are disappearing like wildfire down here in Lacey.

9. Mr. Cynical spews:

Dr. Quest–
I have been involved in local politics with this issue…..repeatedly. I have heard pretty much every argument on both sides of IMPACT FEES many times.
NO ONE pays me to post anything…nor have they EVER.
DonnaF*CKINGGeddon has a condition where whoever disagrees with him must work for BIAW, be connected with Karl Rove & Bush.
DonnaF*CKINGGeddon has personally seen space aliens Dr. Quest!

This is a very good discussion topic as the money for infrastructure must come from somewhere. The first problem is to distinguish what is maintenance vs. what is growth. Then was is “reasonable”…not merely shove as much onto newcomers as possible. Because that does have negative consequences too…on affordable housing.

Another interesting discussion is WHO has actually paid for existing infrastructure and maintenance. Did the house pay??? Did the property pay??? What about system development charges that communities charge??

10. Mr. Cynical spews:

sgmmac@6–
The Growth Management Act is filled with unwanted consequences for rural counties and urban neighborhoods.
Let’s face it, many of the proponents of High Density live in single-family homes with big yards!!! They just want everyone else to live in a ratmaze….kind of like in Amsterdam. The ELISTISTS live in their “Country Villa’s”. They have their City studio too!!!
GMA is a prime tool of ELITIST Social Engineering.

NO ONE WANTS HIGHER DENSITY IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!
Take that to the bank!

11. sgmmac spews:

Mr Cynical,
Do NOT be fooled by Dr Quest, he is Lucy in Disguise, without the diamonds, in other words, he is headless!

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2

“Goldy is missing a key point…owners of undeveloped land have also paid property taxes on the value of that land. So they have helped pay for existing services while not really being a user.”

And you’re missing a key point, Cynical — they have only paid property taxes on the UNDEVELOPED value of that land, and have NOT paid for the new services that developing their land will require! And, frankly, I have zero sympathy for speculators who buy and hold raw land hoping inflation will line their pockets.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

I side with the Realtors on this one, Goldy. A home seller already pays a tax of 1/2% of the value of the house, and with real estate commissions and closing fees, the transaction costs of selling a home can amount to nearly 10% of the home’s value.

There’s more at stake than retirees’ nest egg; most sellers move to another house, not a retirement home, and whatever profit was made on the house they sold is eaten up by the higher price of the home they’re buying. The only time you realize a windfall from selling a home is if you’re downgrading to a less expensive home.

In addition, burdening home sales with higher taxes will only reduce liquidity in the real estate market. Higher transaction costs discourage potential sellers from selling, and put pressure on sellers to pass the increased cost to buyers in the form of a higher price, which discourages potential buyers from buying. Higher transaction costs slow the market and make it harder to sell your home when you want to move or have to move.

Impact fees capitalize the new infrastructure that new construction requires. Making existing homeowners pay these costs is like the phone company raising customer rates to raise capital for expansion — that’s wrong because customers should be charged only for the service and a fair return-on-equity to the shareholders who furnished the company’s capital. Likewise, all property owners should share and share alike in the cost of ongoing services such as police and fire, but homeowners who paid assessments for street paving, sewers, and sidewalks in front of THEIR homes should not be asked to pay property taxes for paving, sewers, etc. in new developments. Impact fees serve the same function as assessments.

14. Libertarian spews:

Buying raw land and holding it is a very speculative way to make a profit in real estate. Sure, the general price tendency for many years has been upward for all types of land, not just undeveloped properties. But raw land as an investment is substantially more speculative.

An investor in raw land is subjet to the biggest investment risks we have in our economy: the government and taxes. An exqample of gvernment action that might affect an investor in raw land is environmental concerns. Suppose an investor buys a piece of land only to have someone discover that a rare and endangered species inhabits the property. It’s unlikely that the investor can get full use and benefit from the property if government acts to restrict his or her actions with the land.

Taxes are the issue of this blog, at the moment, but there are other things to consider. Zoning laws also add to risk as does the issue of eminent domain. The investor in real estate needs to look carefully before putting his or her money into raw land, particularly in a “progressive” place like KC. Lots of things can happen, over time, that could turn the land owner’s investment into an inferior wealth builder.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

@3

“Impact Fees cannot be used for maintenance of EXISTING infrastructure. They can only be used for the cost of growth…essentially expanding capacity.”

Agree; and also agree that it’s a misuse of impact fees to raise money for general services in order to avoid service cuts or across the board local tax increases. The new homeowners get ripped off when that happens.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6

The Growth Management Act is to designed to contain development within designated “urban boundaries.” The downside of GMA is that it compresses new housing within the existing urban space, creating higher density.

The intention of GMA is to prevent sprawl from ravaging the countryside on the fringe of urban areas. Some of America’s best farmland has been plowed under for urban development. Sprawl damages local ecosystems. Sprawl means longer commuting distances, which increases air pollution from automobiles and increases the nation’s energy consumption. In addition, you need a certain amount of population density per square mile in urban areas for mass transit to be feasible.

GMA was enacted by the legislature because urban planners have learned from experiences elsewhere that sprawl and uncontrolled development have no good consequences and plenty of bad ones for communities.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

@7

“The first problem is to distinguish what is maintenance vs. what is growth. Then was is ‘reasonable’ … not merely shove as much onto newcomers as possible. Because that does have negative consequences too…on affordable housing.”

I agree with you 100% so far, on this issue, Cynical.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

And I disagree with you 95% on GMA, Cynical.

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12

“inferior wealth builder”

That’s the understatement of the year! Investing in undeveloped land is a game for seasoned professionals. Amateurs play at their risk! Professional land investors reject 100 deals for every 1 they invest in, because land in most cases is a poor vehicle for investing, for the reasons you mention plus a lot more.

20. Terry spews:

Thank you for the post, Goldy. I am even more skeptical of this tax trade. One goal of impact fees is to discourage sprawl. This is not achieved by spreading the tax more broadly. If it not accurate to say that urban should pay for the sewer connection fees for a single family development in the hinterlands particularly when these services are so much more costly to bring to low density “neighborhoods.” These urban dwellers are unlikely to flush any of these toilets.

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

One of the best ways to invest in land is to anticipate where development will reach 30 years from now, then buy acreage there and put a revenue-generating business on it. If you want to buy at rural prices and sell at urban prices, the 30-year timeframe is necessary. Also, it will take decades to fully amortize and depreciate the business structures you put on the property. The business on the property generates revenue and pays the property taxes while you wait for the land to appreciate. You need the kind of business that doesn’t require customer traffic off the street — a storage yard for boats and RVs or construction equipment, a small manufacturing plant, a nursing home, are examples. When urban growth reaches your property boundary, you close or move the business, tear down the structures, sell the land for multiples of what you paid for it, and retire to your private island in a warm climate.

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

Also, if you play the land appreciation game correctly, the business doesn’t have to make a profit for you to come out ahead. The potential for land appreciation hedges against the risk that the business itself may not be profitable. This works out on paper if you consider acquiring and holding the land for appreciation and operating a business on it as a single business enterprise. Vice versa, the potential for business profits hedges against the risk the land may not appreciate according to your expectations.

23. Roger Rabbit spews:

SCANDAL! CORRUPTION! BRIBERY!

Rep. Duke Cunningham (REPUBLICAN-ca) resigned from Congress today after pleading guilty to conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and tax evasion charges stemming from his receipt of $2.4 million in bribes from a defense contractor.

According to the Associated Press, Cunningham answered ‘Yes, Your Honor,” when asked by a federal judge whether he had accepted bribes in exchange for his performance of official duties.

24. Roger Rabbit spews:

A story circulating in the blogosphere but so far kept under wraps by MSM is “Downing Street Memo 2,” an explosive secret British government memo that says President Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera’s facility in Qatar because he thinks the station broadcasts anti-U.S. “propaganda.”

Hmmm … bombing unarmed noncombatants (i.e., journalists — or, if you prefer, Arab propagandists) in a neutral country outside the combat zone would be … MURDER.

But then, we already know what our commander-in-chief’s ethical stripes are, so it’s not the least bit surprising. By the way, over 60 journalists from various nations have been killed in Iraq, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they’re being deliberately targeted by U.S. troops — a first in the history of U.S. warfare.

25. GBS spews:

Interesting topic. As a homeowner in a well established area, we are getting a lot of new development all around us. The positive impact has been a tremendous rise in my property’s value over the last 7 – 8 years.

The negative impacts are greater traffic congestion and higher property taxes. I don’t mind paying the greater property tax since I am a directly benefiting from the rise in property value, but I really don’t want to foot the bill for the new infrastructure developmental costs. That bill should to to the developers who wish to profit from their venture and the people who choose to buy the new homes in these areas. In essence, this is just another tax break for businesses placed on the backs of working Americans.

26. sgmmac spews:

I agree with the intention of the GMA, it’s the execution that is telling. Building 400 homes that all look alike on property that is denuded of all indengious trees with 6 feet between houses is stupid. The sprawl is still happening, everywhere down here. The open fields that I used to drive by are all being consumed with thousands of cookie cutter ugly houses. We have around 40thousand people and all of the businesses are being consolidated in two major areas. I have to drive 5 miles just to get to a grocery store. We basically have 2 main streets going North and South and two main streets going East and West. There are very few apartments, condo’s or townhomes. Our traffic congestion is getting worse and worse because we have to drive too far to get anything.

27. sgmmac spews:

@22
“By the way, over 60 journalists from various nations have been killed in Iraq, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they’re being deliberately targeted by U.S. troops – a first in the history of U.S. warfare.”
What evidence is that? Who has it? The French? The Italians?
Not everything you read on blogs is true!

28. Larry the Urbanite spews:

Hmmm, the originator of the legislation is from Mercer Island. Now, I may be wrong, but her constituents have nothing to lose by getting rid of impact fees (as MI is already failrly built up, or as built up as they are going to let it get, all services are in place, etc). However, impact fees in other areas help to control or at least mitigate growth. A little short sighted of her, ain’t it?

29. Mr. Cynical spews:

Larry the Urban Asshole–
This was for you!
Now you can confront those who wrong you, in a way that won’t result in your getting your ass beat up. Let the Urban Asshole cards do the talking for you, and put urban assholes in their place.

Each card is scored but not folded so you can present them as is or fold them up so that the recipient only sees “Congrats!” before they get “You’re An Asshole” and the hard truth on the other side.

Back of the card reads:

Congrats, You’re An Asshole

Assholes rarely know why they are the way they are, so here’s a clue for you on your journey of self-improvement:

Double parking
Parking in handicap space
Leaving dog in car
Not shovelling sidewalk
Creating your own parking space
Talking really loudly on cell phone while riding public transportation
Being a loud inconsiderate neighbour
Cutting in line
Bringing sixteen items to the fifteen-item express lane
Not tipping / not tipping enough
Not cleaning up after yourself
Not controlling dog
Not giving up seat on public transportation when someone obviously needs it more than you
Walking three abreast on city sidewalks
Leaving trash outside your apartment door
Not dealing with car alarm
Excessive car-horn honking
Leaving kids in car
Leaving your car idling while you run into the store
Snacking on produce and bulk items in grocery store
Opening car door without looking and endangering cyclists
Smoking in non-smoking areas
Taking up too much time with teller because you don’t understand how banking works
Using an ATM for 18 consecutive transactions when people are waiting
Not letting others cut grocery line if they have only a couple items
Berating servicepeople for things not their fault
Parking too close to other cars thereby blocking them in
Not letting others out of the train/bus/store/post office before pushing way in
Not making more coffee when you finish the pot
Wearing too much perfume or cologne
Stopping to chat or look around in front of doorway, elevator or escalator
Leaving laundry sitting idle in machine at laundromat
Littering
Talking loudly on cell phone
Not holding the door for the person behind you whose arms are full
Using Barnes & Noble as den
Bringing child to R-rated film
Stinking up office with foul meals and snacks
Trying to sneak through a yellow light, ending up parked in intersection, blocking traffic
Sneezing without covering nose and offering snotty handshake
Not wiping equipment down after you’ve gotten it sweaty at gym
Not washing hands after using washroom

30. Mr. Cynical spews:

Larry the Urban Asshole sez#
” impact fees in other areas help to control or at least mitigate growth”
Impact fees ARE NOT supposed to be a weapon to “control” growth.
You misspoke Larry….perhaps you didn’t, as it is the true intent of the ANTI-growthers to stop growth by any means possible including astronomical impact fees…if they can get away with it.

31. Mr. Cynical spews:

Hey Larry…this one is for you!

Now you can confront those who wrong you, in a way that won’t result in your getting your ass beat up. Let the Urban Asshole cards do the talking for you, and put urban assholes in their place.

Each card is scored but not folded so you can present them as is or fold them up so that the recipient only sees “Congrats!” before they get “You’re An Asshole” and the hard truth on the other side.

Back of the card reads:

Congrats Larry, You’re An Asshole

Assholes rarely know why they are the way they are, so here’s a clue for you on your journey of self-improvement:

32. GS spews:

Kind of a stupid argument altogether. The one thing that is for sure is the bucks will never stop being sucked out of the homeowner, no matter where the hell it originates. So the real question is how many more new taxes will the democrats come up with at this time to pile on citizens of this state. This massive increase came from a Democrat in Bellevue, but she doubted it would go through because it was a voting year. I am so happy they are so interested in getting reelected, and worried that after their last session, people might think they have seen enough. Let’s hope she is right!

Most companies in trouble shed people, cut wages, and cut expenses. Gregoire hands out massive raises and raises massive new taxes.

Oregon has a surplus, and is dividing that surplus up with the citizens of that state. Gregoire gets a surplus and can’t wait to spend it.

A real leader!

33. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26

“Building 400 homes that all look alike on property that is denuded of all indengious trees with 6 feet between houses is stupid.”

This isn’t a result of GMA. The solution is more regulation. How much government interference with what houses can look like are you willing to accept?

34. Hapless Dem spews:

NO ONE WANTS HIGHER DENSITY IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!

posted by Mr. Cynical

False. Counterfactual–high rise condo development in urban areas. Also, many small towns practically beg for businesses (and presumably the people associated with these enterprises)to “move in” (Lacy, WA., see), ipso facto rasing densities. And lastly, to hear the anti-CAO folks whine, that is what they want, too, the “freedom” to “develop” (i.e., subdivide) their property. Now think about it–doesn’t that imply higher population density?

35. Roger Rabbit spews:

28

Maybe her constituents are builders. Or maybe she gets a lot of campaign funds from BIAW.

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

29

I don’t think impact fees should be used to discourage growth. Fees and taxes detract from people’s ability to afford homes, and should be no higher than necessary to accomplish their legitimate purposes.

37. Roger Rabbit spews:

@31

“Gregoire hands out massive raises”

Really? To whom, state employees? State employees have gotten a total of 2.4% for six years. That’s some COLA, huh! Considering that fuel and home prices have doubled, and food is up around 30% in that time. How much has your income gone up 2000, asshole? Bet it’s more than 2.4%.

38. Hapless Dem spews:

It’s pretty simple. Builder’s get their money at the front end. They want lower costs to move the product, and impact fees have to be passed through to the buyer.

Realators make most of their money when people move, retire, etc. Most sales are from the existing inventory of homes. The transaction tax would tend to reduce sales and commissions at the “back end”.

It’s amusing to watch these two often (well, BIAW always) conservative political groups go at it. We see this happen on our side too (not so amusing). However, if we had a sane tax policy in this state, we would see so much political battling over the scraps.

39. sgmmac spews:

@32,
My house was built in 1993 and in our homeowner covenants, it specifies that I have to get my colors approved if I want to paint my house, when and where to take out my trash, etc….. There are also covenants on some of the other properties specifying that the trees on those lots were designated as significant trees and could not be chopped down. In the last two years our City Council has gone nuts with building and tearing down old fir trees. Mind you all of the city signs say that Lacey is the City of Trees!

40. sgmmac spews:

@32,
Realtors are saying that our houses are worth even more with the new ones going up because of their size and their lot size.

41. sgmmac spews:

@36
I believe he is speaking about her cabinet, she doubled their salaries, almost everyone of them is maxed out. The regular state employees got screwed over with raises for all the hoopla about the unions getting the raises, there are some people that only saw a dollar and some change as a raise.

42. Hapless Dem spews:

Builders want low cost product–hence no impact fees.
Realtors want low cost product–hence they oppose the excise tax (most sales are of existing homes, not new ones).

It’s not clear from the way you wrote it, Goldy. Does our good Judy support or oppose the excise tax? I would think she would oppose it to please the hoity toity realtors on Mercer Island who she may know personally, and may get a campaign contribution or two from.

But who knows?

43. Hapless Dem spews:

sgmmac @ 39: The gov did not “double” the salaries of the cabinet members. You may quibble about the 8-10% raises some of them got, but to start out with a flat out lie reflects badly on you. Please retract this falsehood.

44. sgmmac spews:

@41
Hapless, I got it from the newspapers, they are paid twice as much as Locke’s…….. maybe not individually, but doubled. And let’s not talk about what the LT Gov did with his staff.

45. sgmmac spews:

@42
And how many more has the Governorette hired? How many special panels and studies? How many millions?

46. Hapless Dem spews:

sgmmac @ 42: Disagree. Back up this ridiculous claim with a citation. They are not “paid twice as much as Locke’s”. You made the assertion, prove it. I searched the net and found some info that the larger raises were about 16% as compared to TWO years ago. This implies something just south of 8 per cent a year. It raised a few eyebrows, but hey, when Carly Fiona gets 25 million “firing bonus” for running HP into the ground, who can quibble?

sgmmac @ 43: Sorry. I do not answer rhetorical questions. If you have some hard facts, spill your guts. You’re just jiving.

47. Donnageddon spews:

sgmmac “Hapless, I got it from the newspapers,”

You see, sggmac, without a citation of some sort, your statement that the Govenors cabintet members salaries are double that of Lock’s, can only be taken as your OPINION, or more likely a poorly remembered falsehood.

48. Chuck spews:

Goldy, did you also know that the BIAW was as a group against I-912??

49. Mr. Cynical spews:

Hapless DUM sez:
“when Carly Fiona gets 25 million “firing bonus” for running HP into the ground, who can quibble?”
You LEFTIST PINHEADS really have a hard time understanding the difference between PRIVATE and PUBLIC money, don’t you?!

50. Mr. Cynical spews:

Rog@35 sez:
“I don’t think impact fees should be used to discourage growth. Fees and taxes detract from people’s ability to afford homes, and should be no higher than necessary to accomplish their legitimate purposes.”

You got that right Rog. Unfortunately, the LEFTIST PINHEADS who have hi-jacked your Democratic Party in the name of Karl Marx don’t quite seem to understand this. Well, they do…..but still try to do ANYTHING to stop growth, including this.

51. Roger Rabbit spews:

According to King 5 News, the existing real estate excise tax is 1.78% (1.28% state, .5% local), and Rep. Clibborn’s proposal would raise the REET .4% for local govrnments and .25% for school districts, bringing the total tax to 2.43% This amounts to $7,290 tax due upon sale of a $300,000 home.

52. Roger Rabbit spews:

@39

I would want to see the “before” and “after” salaries before passing judgment. You have to look at what the salaries are now in relation to the responsibilities of the job positions, and what comparable positions pay.

53. Roger Rabbit spews:

@42

Well, if you are comparing the cabinet salaries to what they were when Locke took office, that was 12 years ago.

54. Roger Rabbit spews:

@43

According to the Office of Financial Management, the governor’s office was staffed at 70 FTEs in 2002, and has 69 FTEs for the current biennium.

55. Roger Rabbit spews:

To cut through the bullshit and get to state budget facts, OFM’s budget page is here: http://www.ofm.wa.gov/budget.htm

56. Proud to be an Ass spews:

You LEFTIST PINHEADS really have a hard time understanding the difference between PRIVATE and PUBLIC money, don’t you?!

posted by CLINICAL

No. Not really. Waste is waste. It is a predelliction of republicans to view public revenues as “part of the drop” to which they are entitled once they take office. This fits perfectly with their private behavior. Perhaps it is they who should try to learn the difference.

Well, they do…

posted by CLINICAL

Well. Make up your effing mind already. There are some serious questions regarding “growth” as the be-all and end-all of human existence, and there are serious questions regarding the shape this “growth” shall take.

You, on the other hand, would rather be scatological. Try bringing something serious to the conversation. You might find it refreshing.

57. Mark The Redneck spews:

You guys are making this way too complicated. Here’s how it works:

All tax increases are bad. No matter what “good” may come from the higher taxes, more taxes are always bad.

All tax cuts are good. No matter what “bad” things might happen if taxes are reduced, less taxes are always good.

The logic behind this stunningly clear insight is that there is really only one taxpayer… The People. And The People only have one wallet. And that wallet is tapped out. Period

Since you lefties insist on letting bottom half of the population mostly off the hook on taxes, yer stuck with what you got now. Get used to it.

58. zip spews:

Roger
My compliments, you can be pretty lucid every when you’re off the sauce.

I judge this tax switch by the “little old lady” test and it flunks badly. She’s owned her home for 40 years, paid her ever increasing property tax, and finally decides to sell. Who in their right mind thinks we should increase her excise tax in order to fund the growth-caused impact mitigation? Let’s not forget that for low or middle income sellers their house is their largest asset by far. The tax man should not be taking a bigger piece of that pie. Unless “progressive” Washington decides that yet another regressive tax is not actually so.

59. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reply to 57

MTR — is that an argument for a Zero Tax Society?

60. Roger Rabbit spews:

@57 (continued)

Life is bad, too, because it leads to death.

61. Roger Rabbit spews:

Mark, this is really simple.

Without taxes, there can be no government.
Without government, there can be no civilization.
Without civilization, there can be no economy.
Without an economy, you’d be living in trees eating bananas.

62. Donnageddon spews:

But MTRVI would rather leave it to his descendents to pay for his decadence.

That is the way Neo-Cons work.

63. Donnageddon spews:

And if MTRVI is caught using public roads, sewer system, electricity, air traffic control, or the legal system, he should be imprisoned.

But then since jails cost tax dollars, then capital punishment is justified.

I will pay for the bullet, rope, chemicals, or electricity.

His choice.

64. Roger Rabbit spews:

63

Be patient, Mother Nature will take care of MTR in due time.

65. sgmmac spews:

@43
Hapless, you are right! I went and found the article after making a big batch of fudge and watching Prison Break. I must have been blind, menopausal or confused by all of the different comparisons when I read it.
Her cabinet is making $256,000 more than Locke’s when he left office and that’s on top of the big raises that he gave in his last year….. Since 2003, the average salary has increased almost 16%
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=teamgregoire13m&date=20050613&query=gregoire+cabinet

66. dj spews:

Mark The Redneck @ 57

Hey, Marky, did you contribute $100 to Cantwell yet. You are wrong that her web site doesn’t work. If you are incapable of figuring out how to use it, send in a check (or cash) to the address provided, instead.

Come on, Mark, PAY UP. You made a bet with Goldy and you have an obligation to make good on your bet.

67. Proud to be an Ass spews:

Since you lefties insist on letting bottom half of the population mostly off the hook on taxes, yer stuck with what you got now. Get used to it.

Since you righties insist on letting the upper 10% of the population mostly off the hook on taxes, we are stuck arguing with you and fighting over the scraps. That makes it tought, but right now your GOP is making the ground rules. Get used to it.

68. Curious George spews:

The problem I have with a real estate excise tax (REET) in lieu of impact fees is, impact fees go toward creating new infrastructure to help offset impacts of growth. With new construction this would be fine. When a property resells in a future year, it would be paying a tax to finance infrastructure that has already been built. A multiple impact fee, so to speak, on one property.

Also, there are already 2 local option REET’s on the the books for capital projects.

RCW 82.46.010(2) is 0.25%. “… revenues generated from the tax … … shall be used solely for financing capital projects specified in a capital facilities plan element of a comprehensive plan and housing relocation assistance…” unless the revenues had been pledged to retire debt prior to 1992.

RCW 82.46.035 is .025% for counties and cities planning under the Growth Management Act. “… Revenues generated from the tax… … shall be used by such counties and cities solely for financing capital projects specified in a capital facilities plan element of a comprehensive plan.”

Is another REET truly needed?

69. HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:

This whole damned subject makes my head hurt… either way the jackasses in Olympia are raping and robbing the the citizens who they think are just too damned dumb to spend their own hard earned money.

70. Donnageddon spews:

@ 68 “This whole damned subject makes my head hurt… ”

Perhaps if you removed it from your ass..

71. HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:

Clever, clever donnieGetsNone – and it only took you 1 hour and 57 min! Is that a new comeback record for you?

72. GBS spews:

Proud ASS:

You’re the last person who should be talking about how long someone takes respond!!

It’s been over a week since I’ve asked you about the foreign debt thingy and you are still avoiding the question.

Is there an adult living in your house? Maybe they can explain this concept to you about why foreign governments buy US debt.

73. Mark The Redneck spews:

DumAss @ 67 – Don’t be a fucking dumass. Look up the facts on who pays. Top 10% pays overwhelming majority. Go to IRS website and look at the stats. Do some research on AMT. Google “who pays taxes”.

If you think I’m FOS cite your source that top doesn’t pay. This is why I hate you fucking people. You spout fucking lies and get all indignant over it.

Dumass…

74. Donnageddon spews:

MTR, are you calling our President a liar!!!

Bush : the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway.

http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=243903&nid=25

Take it back asshole, because I don’t like pinkos like you calling our President a liar! Asshole!

75. Donnageddon spews:

You know it would be so much more satisfying demonstrating what an idiot MTR is, if it weren’t so fucking easy!

76. Donnageddon spews:

Hey, ProudASS @ 71, sorry for my tardy response… the thing is.. I got this job, you know?

Oh, I am sorry, a trust funder like you who never worked a day in your life wouldn’t know about that.

77. HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:

Hey, ProudASS @ 71, sorry for my tardy response… the thing is.. I got this job, you know?

Oh, I am sorry, a trust funder like you who never worked a day in your life wouldn’t know about that. -Comment by Donnageddon— 11/29/05 @ 9:10 pm

So, have you mastered that whole “would you like to supersize your fries?” thing yet?

Really, I hope this whole j*b experiment works out for you… I’m rooting for you to get your ass out of that one room apartment and into paying your fair share of Corrupt Sims County Usury/Property tax.

78. Curious George spews:

“…County Usury/Property tax…”

What part of the property tax would that be???? Generally, 60% to 65% of property tax goes to public schools, not the county. And a lot of that school property tax has been voted in by the people.

Just because you make a check out to the county for the entire tax bill, don’t assume that all money goes to the county.