Yesterday I briefly blogged on the spate of news stories surrounding a DOR study that shows state and local tax burden at the lowest point since 1981.
This is deceptive.
Eliminate the anomalous 1981 dip, and tax burden is actually near a forty-year low.
This can clearly be seen in a preliminary study I posted to TaxSanity.org last month, “The truth about property taxes in Washington State“. The study uses state and federal historical data to show that state and local tax burden has not only remained quite stable over the past 20 years, but is well below national averages and historic highs.
As you’d expect, initiative profiteer Tim Eyman scoffs at the DOR study. According to the AP story he “denounced it as an election-year tactic to reduce support for his measures.”
Yeah Tim… God forbid voters decide an election based on the facts.
So, is Washington a high tax state as Timmy persistently claims? Well, it all depends on who you are, and how much you earn. While Washington ranks 32nd nationally for average state and local tax burden, our tax system is the undisputed champion of regressivity.
If you earn $20,000 a year you live in the highest taxed state in the union, but if you earn $200,000 a year you live in one of the lowest.
And that is exactly the kind of structural unfairness that Tim’s across-the-board tax cuts have exacerbated… and that Ron Sims proposes to fix with his bold new tax plan.