April 23, 2015
Senate Republicans propose massive property tax hike -- will Gov. Inslee save the day?
Washington Legislature News
by Tim Eyman, 09:28 AM

When candidate Jay Inslee was asked how he'd handle the McCleary court decision regarding funding schools, he said he'd veto tax increases. He said he "would focus like a laser beam" on his "job creation plan for the private sector" and balance the budget using existing revenue by putting people back to work. Watch this 1 minute clip

But more than anything else, candidate Inslee ridiculed the so-called "property tax levy swap." He repeatedly called it a "gimmick". He said it was "a classic maneuver by politicians in Olympia." He said it was a "shell game" that raised taxes on nearly half of all property tax payers. He tore into it with vigor and verve. He was emphatic. He was unambiguous. Watch this 40 second clip

The people elected a man who adamantly opposed this. Will Governor Inslee now come riding to the rescue when it comes to the Senate Republicans' bill (Senate Bill 6109) which does exactly what he ridiculed? In today's Tacoma News Tribune, they report the Republicans' bill "would raise property taxes in more than 40 percent of Washington's school districts."

Inslee despised it as a candidate, will he stop it as Governor? Can we count on him to protect us from this massive property tax hike?

House and Senate Democrats are instead proposing a $5.5 billion state income tax as an alternative. They're asking "isn't our tax increase better than their tax increase?"

The answer is "ABSOLUTELY NOT." Voters don't support ANY tax increase! They're totally against higher property taxes and they're totally against a new state income tax.

But this is what happens in Olympia when there isn't a 2/3 vote requirement for tax increases.

The fact is the only effective way to fight back against this tax-hiking insanity is by helping us get the 2/3-For-Taxes Constitutional Amendment Initiative on the ballot. This is the most exciting, impactful, needed initiative we've ever done. Voters clearly need permanent protection from Olympia's insatiable tax appetite.

Success is the only option with the signature drive for I-1366. Please help us make it happen.

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April 20, 2015
McIntire Doesn't Know Constitution, Math, or Both
Washington State News
by pudge, 07:27 PM

WA State Treasurer James McIntire says that fully funding K-12 education is mathematically impossible, and so he wants a new state income tax.

But we know that's not true, that we have enough money right now from taxes to fully fund K-12 education. In 2015-17, the governor is proposing spending over $18 billion on schools, against revenues of about $37 billion. Even if you think we need to double education spending, which almost no one believes, there's still enough revenue.

So maybe you think, but there's other things that government needs to spend money on first. But the state constitution disagrees with you: "[i]t is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. ..."

There can only be one paramount duty. It's the highest duty. The one you do first. If you spend so much money on social services that you don't have enough to spend on the ample provision of education, then you didn't make ample provision of education your highest duty. You violated the constitution.

It's true that we need new revenue for some spending people might want. But it literally cannot be true that we need new revenue for K-12 education. It is not possible, because it would mean either that ample promision for K-12 education isn't the paramount duty of the state, or it means that our total state revenues don't cover the needs for education ... and we know both of those things are false.

The facts say, very clearly, that McIntire doesn't know what he is talking about.

Even if you want to argue that we need to fund the tax system, legislature, the governor, the courts, law enforcement, and a few other things first -- whatever is necessary to implement the education system, such as passing/signing/upholding laws, and collecting taxes -- there's still plenty of money for K-12 education.

It's simple law, and simple math, and it's simple facts, and I wish that McIntire would learn something about how our government actually works before popping off about it.

As to the income tax proposal itself, it has two major problems.

One problem is that we all know that once the state gets an income tax passed, it will be amended to increase the rates, to control behavior (special deductions and credits for favored people or actions), and so on. It will grow. There's no doubt of it. So it's not going to pass either through the legislature, or by initiative.

The bigger problem is that we know an income tax that is not fully uniform, is a violation of the state constitution. And if there's standard deductions such that income less than $22 thousand (for single filers) is exempted, then it's definitionally non-uniform. So even if it does become law, it will be overturned by the court. (Although since the draft legislation has a severability clause, likely, only the deductions would be struck down, which means even the poorest people would owe a five percent income tax, which makes this tax potentially even more regressive than the current sales and property taxes.)

Mr. McIntire, please read this primer on the uniform tax law in this state.

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