I’m guessing there were an awful lot of folks who were awfully surprised by yesterday’s KING5/SurveyUSA poll that showed 66% of respondents supporting I-1077’s high earners income tax, and only 27% opposed. That’s a better than two-to-one margin, similar to the last time an income tax measure hit the ballot back in 1973… only in reverse.
Of course, I-1077’s backers wouldn’t have gone forward with the initiative if they didn’t have polling data suggesting it stood a reasonable chance of success, but no doubt even they were pleased by the SurveyUSA results. The poll shows I-1077 passing, not just by an overwhelming margin, but in every single demographic group. 63% of independents, 57% of Republicans… even self-identified conservatives approved by a 50%-45% margin.
Over at Publicola Josh is intrigued that the measure actually draws more support in Eastern Washington than in Western, 66% and 63% respectively. But assuming respondents understand the initiative and who it impacts, such a result makes quite a bit of sense.
After all, the Puget Sound region isn’t just the population center of the state, it is also home to a disproportionate number of Washington’s high earners, so I-1077 doesn’t just tax the rich, it also taxes Seattle. Think folks out in Eastern Washington won’t take a bit of pleasure in that? Well think again.
Yeah, sure, it would be more than a little cynical for I-1077 proponents to co-opt Eastern Washington’s “fuck Seattle” attitude in an effort to win votes from the other side of the Cascades. But hell… whatever works.
Its a good thing the state dems took the cowards way out on this so we can blow a bunch of money to pass something they should have done instead of fucking around with nickel and dime taxes.
Polls like this make me think that its not really the amount of taxes that bother people, but the number. It seems every time you turn around there is another tax or fee to pay.
No one throws a fit when an airline just makes a ticket more expensive, but 8 bucks for lunch and 25 for a bag is annoys them.
Hallabalooza Bub spews:
The drysiders have always taken a ride on the Puget Sound region – always followed by a deride, of course. Would be great, however to have them siding with us Space Needle/ferry boat liberals for once…
Roger Rabbit spews:
Maybe Washington’s working stiffs are sick and tired of being ripped off by the untaxed upper class.
“Yeah, sure, it would be more than a little cynical for I-1077 proponents to co-opt Eastern Washington’s “fuck Seattle” attitude in an effort to win votes from the other side of the Cascades. But hell… whatever works.”
I said in another thread how I’m open and will listen to the idea as long as some fundamental questions are answered favorably about the initiative. I thought I even tapped into my self-styled moderate and rational perspective.
Hell, I thought I might have found some common ground with Blogger-In-Chief!
But after Goldy’s proposed theory I feel dirty for my geographic location and one notch further away from supporting the initiative. Way to sleaze up the good folks of EW there Goldy. You trying to kill the initiative?
Count this one EW resident as a person that didn’t think any of that before this post. Still I’ll listen to the initiative regardless, but put me down instead as a “fuck Goldy” on that one point.
You morons are unreal. The disingenuous nature of your argument and the reflexive cry of “tax the rich” are disgusting.
High-earners taxes never stay only on high-earners and you fucking retards know it.
Heh, channeling my inner Rahm there.
I wish those on the eastern side of the state had computers so they could learn from me that what will “fuck Seattle” now, will eventually fuck them later. One day this income tax will grow to include everyone.
Also, by signing this initiative, you’re reinforcing Olympia’s incorrect notion that they don’t have a spending problem, they have a revenue problem.
Vote no on this initiative. Let Oly know they have a spending problem.
State spending, both as a percentage of the economy, and per capita adjusted for inflation, have been steadily declining in Washington state over the past 15 years. That is fact. And it’s a fact that refutes your bullshit assertion that our current budget problems are due to out of control spending.
We have a long term structural revenue deficit due to the fact that we over-rely on a sales tax… a tax on a section of our economy, the sale of goods, that compromises an ever shrinking portion of the economy as a whole. This deficit was briefly masked, first by the dot com boom, and then by the real estate bubble. But it’s been there the whole time nonetheless.
Math is math.
Undercover Brother spews:
these poll numbers are very good news. as is the fact that some of our state’s highest earners seem to support this.
i have always had a rule of voting NO on any initiative but this will have 2 yes votes from my home.
based on our family income it would have cost us about $1,500 but some of that would come back from the fed.
since i was a very young boy i was rasied to understand that the more i had to pay in taxes meant the more money i was making…..seems like a fair trade and one that me and my wife are more than happy to make.
typical BS from Delbert – the initiative has the support of the people. Take THAT Tim Eyeman.
Watch how the hypocritical eyeman complains about how “well finainced” this initiative.
This from the crook who lied about taking rich people money for his initiatives.
What a hypocrite, Timmy!
I suspect as citizens understand the Democrat Legislature & Governor can lower the threshold for who is taxed in 2 years…like they can modify any Initiative, support will quickly dwindle.
I heard Mr. Gates, Sr. try to answer a question about the Legislature being able to modify this in 2 years. He really fumbled. Plus their is certainly a Constitutional issue to contend with because it exempts Corps so it is aimed at 1 class. Lots of hurdles.
I would suppport a Net Worth tax on the super-wealthy as well as taxes on Trusts. These are more passive assets than current earnings and more in line with the philosophy of ability to pay…a lynchpin in tax fairness.
I suspect the Gates Sr. plan will ultimately be axed for these reasons….especially when it is shown that the richest man in the world, his son, will actually save money.
Back to the drawing board.
Let’s put together a plan that will pass with a Constitutional Amendment that forces guys like Gates to pay their fair share.
Given that this initiative would affect the people with the most income, and so those with the most political influence, I just wonder what glossy FUD will start appearing soon in prime time. Certainly these poll numbers would be a call to arms of sorts.
Luke Esser obviously has no shame and no reputation to save, but who else is leading the opposition?
@10, they also could just pass an income tax, or jack the sales tax up to 50%, or do any number of things. But the fact that despite a huge deficit and a supportive public the best they could do was a few rather small tax increases, I don’t really see much of a chance of them doing what you say. If anything I would guess they would try and undo it.
Plus net worth taxes punish the elderly.
There is always the chance of the legislature doing things we don’t like, but thats why they stand for reelection.
Ah yes, math …
From 2000 to 2010 Washington State’s population increased from 5.8 million to 6.6 million, or 13%.
But in those same 10 years, the state budget has grown by 46%.
Also, please justify to me a state position like “Assistant Climate Change Media Liaison, Department of Shellfish Habitat Protection.” Pay: $157,000/year.
Or better yet, Lactation Consultant.
@13 Please see inflation. 4% a year seems to be a pretty reasonable growth rate.
@12: Agreed, given how the “Democrat” governor and “Democrat” legislature have caved again and again for fear of seeming too “Democrat” on the issue of taxes.
re 4: You are going to do something against your own self interest because Goldy hurt your feelings?
Maybe Goldy’s right. You do need to be manipulated.
Personally, I think you’re brilliant. Feel better?
hey, if we don’t pass this thing we can still stick our poorest family with an extra $2000 a year in state and local taxes, bwahahahahahaha!
Even as we post on blog sites pretending to be worried that “future actions” to change this will “hurt orinary people!!
“you’ll be sorry when all the bellevue waterfront mansions get boarded up”
is suzan delbene a high earner?
Jeremy Hulley spews:
I am tenatively in support of 1077 but if the issue is over reliance on sales tax why does’nt it address that?
I find it interesting that putting a state income tax in place via simple passage of an initiative somehow seems legally possible after being told over and over for most of my threescore years that it couldn’t be done without amending the state constitution.
I’m assuming this thing has been given a thorough going-over by some pretty sharp lawyers, Bill Sr. himself being one of those. So…Roger, Richard, anyone else…what’s the explanation?
Richard Pope spews:
I looked at I-1077 with some care. IT DOESN’T TAX CORPORATIONS, only individuals! How can we have a state income tax, that corporations are EXEMPT from paying? Would the people ever stand for eliminating the federal income tax for corporations, and only keeping the income tax for individuals?
Some people might argue — corporations have to pay the business and occupation tax. But so do individuals who are engaged in business. If a corporation owns a convenience store, they only have to pay the B & O tax. But if the same store is owned by an individual, they will pay the same B & O tax, plus a state income tax on any profits that they make.
So I see this as a political non-starter. Even if voters would support an income tax, they will never vote for a law that exempts corporations — including Microsoft, Boeing, and other wealthy corporations — from paying the tax at all.
Moreover, this would be one additional ground for the state supreme court to strike down the law. How can it possibly be constitutional under the state constitution (let alone the 14th amendment federal equal protection clause) to tax only individuals, and to completely exempt corporations (no matter how profitable they may be)?
Let’s throw I-1077 into the garbage. Rewrite the law, so that not only are domestic partners treated equally to married couples, but that corporations pay the income tax at the same rate as individuals.
Pope @ 22: I also think you need to have corporations included, to keep the wealthy from sheltering income under the corporate umbrella. But federal tax law treats corporations differently than it does individuals (different rates, allowing fiscal filing years, etc.). This can be explained by the different circumstances dealing with corporations versus individuals. So I don’t think it’s fatal (via the 14th amendment) to the state income tax on individuals.
But if the tax were on corporations, then there would be a huge push by well-funded corporations to stop it, either by threatening to leave the state, cut jobs, or whatever else it took to scare people into voting against it. This measure seems designed to achieve one primary purpose: to create an income tax which will win at the polls by avoiding anything controversial or which would solidify opposition (except by those most ideologically against income taxes in general who would never vote for it no matter how it was worded).
As such, it seems to me that they wanted to get a tax passed so it could go before the court in a test case to get a determination on it’s constitutionality. After that, we can fix the other parts.
Why don’t you come over to the ranch and we talk about it. ;)
Many of are rural…but very few of us are stupid.
Speaking as a die-hard liberal who supports a progressive income tax (in fact, it should be even higher than this initiative proposes), I’d say the lack of a corporate income tax is a red herring. Yep, on this point, the Republicans are (just this once) correct. Just properly tax the people who make money from the corporation, including capital gains (on which the Republicans are certainly not correct), and everything is fine.
Consider my very (and I mean very) small business. I pay B&O tax on the proceeds (gross, not net, but that’s a different problem). I pay no income tax — on the business. But when I pay myself with the profit, I pay federal income taxes. Fair enough.
I only wish I made $200,000 so that I could pay state income taxes.
22 “How can it possibly be constitutional under the state constitution (let alone the 14th amendment federal equal protection clause) to tax only individuals, and to completely exempt corporations (no matter how profitable they may be)?”
While I don’t mind making wealthy corporations pay more money, as a general principle, this is actually an example of treating corporations too much like a person. I would rather not make it possible for corporations to invoke the 14th amendment or any other equal protection clause. Make corporations subservient, not equal, to humans.
Tax the wealthy humans who most benefit from corporations.
3. Roger Rabbit spews:
By saying this you are saying the upper class pays absolutely no taxes in Washington, because that’s what untaxed means.
In response to this post Roger Rabbit will:
1) Never respond.
2) Attack me and call me names.
3) Blame Bush for him using the word “untaxed”.
4) A polite response indicating he meant to say “undertaxed” and thanking me for pointing out his incorrect statement.
5) All of the above.
re 24: Describe the stupid ones and we’ll talk. I’ve heard from law enforcement that most of the chrystal meth. is made in rural areas. Are they the smart ones?
re 27: So, by applying your example, the French common folk in the 18th century should have been grateful for the taxes paid by the ruling classes — which were probably MORE than each tenant peasant paid.
But, then again, the tenant farmer was very aware that the taxes paid by the rich came out of their asses in the first place. Get it?
Kemper is an ass. Like all the millionaires and billionaires are going to move to South Dakota to avoid the dreaded state “income tax.”
What the gullible conservative base dumb asses don’t realize is that those people who become millionaires and billionaires do NOT make that kind of scratch by themselves.
It requires a highly educated and highly skilled workforce in order for entrepreneurs to create mega-wealth.
And it is this workforce requirement from the Commons is why High Net Worth individuals need to pay a higher tax rate. They benefit the most from the K-12 public school systems and students who attend institutions of higher levels of learning that receive Pell grants and guaranteed government loans to that provide the specialized talent they use to their personal benefit.
They also benefit the most from the public infrastructure like roads, utilities, court systems and regulatory agencies that ensure a level and fair playing field. They enjoy the benefits of a federal government that provides for interstate and international commerce and a national military that provides security.
All these things and more come from the public sector, that without, would make it virtually impossible for a nerd like Bill Gates from taking an idea and becoming the richest man in the world.
Previous generations of Americans paid their fair share of taxes that made things like the Interstate Highway system a reality.
The government makes possible trillions of dollars of commerce possible by their R&D.
Jet engines were first a prized and closely guarded secret military item.
Rockets carrying satellites into space were TOP SECRET military hardware.
Computers were first developed and used by the government for military and space exploration uses.
Even the Internet was born of the military’s need to be able to communicate if one line communication was broken the information could be rerouted, thus creating the nickname “web” for the internet. Because the routes of communication were much akin to a spiders web.
I don’t begrudge the conservatives who want less spending. I get the concept. I believe when everyone really stops to think about it, we don’t want government to squander tax money.
We can all agree on that. But the notion that we can keep cutting revenue sources for government, and then expect libraries, 911 services and all the other 21st century comforts we’ve come to rely on is a fallacy.
Tax those who benefited the most from the public infrastructure.
Enough said, twice.
Oh my, if we pass this tax then the under taxed rich free loaders will pack up and leave. Much better to over tax the poor.
Only question I have is will the under taxed rich free loaders be able to take their jobs with them?
Hey Matty, where is your ranch?
What good is an invite if you don’t tell us where you live?
Point 1 is mutually exclusive of the other points, specifically point 5. Basic logic would tell you this, but then conservatives are logically challenged.
Being a conservative, I am obviously incapable of satire.
I commend the job you did of refuting the substance of my post, though.
Sam Adams spews:
66% of what bunch of CHUMPS?
Income tax is unconstitutional in this state
An inititalive must be SINGLE issue.
This is a trojan horse for an income tax on all but those on the dole. Losers.
It’s crystal meth without an h in the first word. And everybody that knows the drug–it’s production has shifted to Mexican super labs and the only people that are dumb enough to make the low quality stuff are in places like Sumner.
@35 http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF.....&z=17 Sunday, 9 a.m. ;)
Roger Rabbit spews:
@27 The Gates commission conducted a study that determined the poorest 20% of households pay 17% of their income to state/local taxes while the richest 20% pay only 3%. That speaks for itself. As for how our tax laws evolved into the regressive and unfair tax system we have today, just ask yourself who owns the politicians, rich folks or poor folks?
Roger Rabbit spews:
@27 3% versus 17% is so unfair that I think the word “untaxed” is fair in this context.
Politically Incorrect spews:
Trust me on this one: if you enact an income tax for WA you’re regret it very much in just a short time. Once the camel’s nose is under the tent, it won’t be long before the camel occupies the whole tent.
Let’s not pass an income tax in WA. Better the devils we know than the oppression and invasion of privacy that is an income tax.
If you feel strongly about an income tax, send the Department of Revenue a check from your personal funds. That should make your consicience feel better.
If Olympia weren’t so Seattle-centric…
Just a thought… corporations are afforded tax exemptions by paying for social services.
Government taxes people to pay for social services.
Why are social services still under-funded?
Because the demand for social services keeps expanding. Why? Because the corporations are laying off their employees for higher profit margins and pay for the few.
So, we can tax those few… certainly an idea that is appealing to voters who are losing their jobs.
But how about this… instead of growing our social service agencies, we grow our industry by making tax incentives that encourage the development and retention of family wage jobs?
Oh, and tax incentives for corporations that disallow executives from earning income beyond a percentage of the profit. This to include athletes and entertainers of course.
Just a thought from a family wage earner watching his meager salary get pinched to serve those whose family wage jobs got eliminated.
dudh golly gee whilikhers dontcha know taxes never go down why dontcha know no income tax in usa history has every gone down that’s why today the federal income tax rate is still 90% dud duh duh duh taxes never go down why dontcha know taxes never go down duh duh duh taxes never go down duh duh duh ……
GOP are toast spews:
Funny how Apple Inc. based in CA has no problem accumulating gigantic cash horde despite “crushing tax burden” from CA. It’s just that our corporations are greedy fucks.
GOP are toast spews:
We need to put the federal rate back up at 90% when we had a thriving middle class!
@35 & @39
Nobody showed this morning. Ekim is a wimp. ;)
Roger Rabbit spews @27:
This isn’t a matter of being fair, but being careless with the words you use. You can try and justitfy your choice of words all you want, but clearly your statement @3 is incorrect. Why is that so hard for you to admit?