The other day I challenged our state’s editorial boards to take the lead in urging state legislators to raise new revenue. And while I’ve no idea if he actually saw my post, yesterday Seattle Times editorial columnist Jonathan Martin did exactly that:
To level the tax burden, the Legislature should give a hard look at a 5 percent state tax on capital gains, the profit reaped on the sale of an investment such as stocks. The idea needs a full airing, because a capital-gains tax would affect the angel investor network that fuels Seattle’s startup engine. Revenue from capital gains taxes are also volatile, swinging with the market.
But nearly all competing tech-centric states have capital gains taxes. California has a 13.3 percent capital gains tax for millionaires, plus a big income tax, and that has not slowed Silicon Valley.
Washington voters have gone all in on the progressive policy agenda, with marriage equality, legalized marijuana, gun control.
It’s time for a bit more progressivism in tax policy.
Sure, it’s just the opinion of a single editorialist instead of the editorial board board as a whole, but it’s an encouraging start. Here’s hoping Martin can persuade his colleagues and his publisher that Washington’s future economic prosperity requires a fair and sustainable tax structure.