Saturday, April 24, 2010

Taxing high earners in WA: "I-1077: Where East Meets West"

David Goldstein:
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.

Howie P.S.: The poll numbers will certainly tighten after Big Money starts its Big Lie(s) ad campaign before November.

No comments: