Saturday, May 08, 2010

Burbank on WA taxes: "...middle class families pay quadruple the tax rate of the very wealthy.--- place an income tax on the wealthy"

John Burbank (Seattle Post Globe):
Can we put all these pieces together to create a common sense solution? The people behind Initiative 1077 [since refiled as I-1098], and I am one of them, think so. What does this initiative do? It cuts property taxes. In Snohomish County, that means on average a $127 cut in property taxes for families and a $445 cut in property taxes for businesses. The initiative also eliminates the business tax for the vast majority of businesses, leaving the current tax in place only for the top one-thirteenth of businesses.

It brings in $1 billion of new public revenue, dedicated to education, expansion of Basic Health, public health and long-term care for the disabled and elderly.

Where is the magic?

The magic is in the beginnings of a fair tax structure. Initiative 1077 puts in place an income tax on the wealthy, the top 3 percent of families in our state, those with incomes in excess of $400,000 a year. It is not a big tax. For a family making $500,000, it amounts to $4,382 in net taxes, or less than 1 percent of their income. For a family making $1 million, it amounts to less than 3 percent of income. Put all these contributions together from the wealthiest 3 percent of families, and we have enough for the property and business tax cuts and expansion of education and health care.(italics by Howie)

So this may be a good idea, but can it win? A poll by KING-TV showed 66 percent support for this approach. We’ll see how that holds up.

We can put on our ideological and no-can-do blinders and dismiss Initiative 1077, or we can engage in a vital discussion for our democracy. I am rooting for the latter.
Howie P.S.: Here's the whole op-ed.

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