A minor adjustment to the layout of today’s Seattle Times front page shows exactly why Initiative 1077’s proposed high earners income tax is going to do a helluva lot better at the polls than the conventionally wise expect, for while the Times chooses to put the tax in bold, above-the-fold type, most voters are at least as concerned with the potential for mass teacher layoffs as they are with protecting the wealthy from higher taxes.
Yes, I-1077 would raise taxes on the top 3 percent of households, but the rest of use would see a tax cut: $160/year for the average King County homeowner. And while yeah, the wealthy are an important part or our economy, I-1077 would actually improve the business climate in our state by exempting 80 percent of businesses from the B&O tax, while reducing B&O taxes on another 10 percent.
But just as importantly, I-1077 would raise an additional $1 billion a year, dedicated to education and health care, two sectors that have endured enormous budget cuts over the past two years.
Nobody likes to raise taxes, but this measure isn’t being run in a vacuum, and given the choice between further underfunding K-12 education and adding a little progressivity into our tax system, I’m guessing an awful lot of voters are going to choose the latter.
i want an initiative that requires kemper freeman to clean up all the vacant lots in downtown bellevue with his teeth.
Rational taxpayer spews:
I’d like to see the threshold reduced just a little, to singles making $75K and couples (including same-sex couples; please) making $150K. And use some of the added revenue to reduce the state property tax further and also a penny or two off of the state sales tax.
I’ve always been of a mind that more little taxes are better public policy than a few large ones. And I’ve also found it strange that the more money I earn each year, the less I pay in taxes — especially noticeable at the federal level. $1800 refund this year; unbelievable. No wonder the federal government is going broke, what with all the Bush tax cuts.
One of the Democrat leaders who was talking taxes over the weekend said they should go up to the level they were under Reagan; yeah, that old tax-and-spender!
Sounds OK to me. If Bill Clinton could overcome the deficit spending after 12 years of Reagan/Bush I, then surely Obama can do the same after only 8 years of Bush II.
You are totally wrong Goldy.
Wealthy folks like Gates have most of their assets in a TRUST account where the income remains in the Trust or is not distributed to individuals so will avoid the very tax he proposes.
Rich folks aren’t stupid.
They have excellent Tax CPA’s and Attorney’s and very, very often Trusts set up to avoid the tax.
Asl Mr. Gates, Sr. if he will amend his Initiative to include Trust Income. His son has a $30 BILLION+ Trust. Probably makes about $3 BILLION/yr. of income on it that will NOT be subject to this tax.
This tax is focused on earned income Goldy…not Wealthy people.
Do some research and ask Mr. Gates Sr. the obvious question…
Why is Undistributed Trust Income not included in this Initiative.
Mr. Gates Sr. & his firm have been involved in putting together innumerable Trusts for Estate Planning, Sheltering Assets and Tax Planning/Avoidance.
Roger Rabbit spews:
“the wealthy are an important part or our economy”
In normal times, yes, by investing the capital that fuels economic growth; but, right now, our depressed economy is awash in idle capacity and excess capital, so tailoring tax policies to create even more capital for which there is no demand is just plain silly.
Steve Zemke spews:
An income tax makes a lot more sense than a sales tax or property tax in terms of tax fairness. You only pay an income tax if you have income, like from a job. Property tax and sales tax you pay whether you are employed or not or are retired or not.
And this particular income tax measure is only on high earners and can only be changed by a vote of the people. Only 3% of families would be affected by I-1077. The rest would see a reduction in taxes they pay.
Could you please comment on Dan Savage’s post pointing out that the proposed bill only recognizes “married” couples and therefore discriminates against gay couples in civil unions?
Can a straight couple claim to be hetero but gay and then not pay the marriage tax?
It’s not a marriage tax, it’s a marriage benefit. Married couples have to make a lot more money than non-married couples before they’ll fall into the bracket that requires them to pay income tax.
Essentially, that means that a wealthy gay couple in a civil union needs to only make $200,000 jointly in order to need to pay tax, whereas an equivalent married couple can make anywhere under $400,000 jointly and not pay the tax.
Mathew "RennDawg" Renner spews:
This tax will affect the top only at first. We all know the truth. This is just a first step. It will soon be expanded so we all pay.
Blethen Bugle spews:
Seattle Times gets Pulitzer.
Christ you know it ain’t easy cranking out an unappreciated quality product day after doo-dah day, working gnarly fingers to the bone to get the perfect mix of piquant snark and almost-libelous batshit, suffering insufferable free-riding trolls who suck up my bandwidth to beat me up about being a whiny trustfund baby who can’t get a real job …
so c’mon. Give it up. Give me some overdue respect and a lot of cash.
Thank you, liberals, from the bottom of my bleeding heart.