1. Mardi Kast says:

    The #1 REASON THIS INITIATIVE IS IN DANGER: I listen to many working people and there is a real fear that this tax will be extended to them after two years. I saw only one ad saying the tax could not be extended without a full vote by the people. If this is true, someone needs to get that info out to the people without delay. If this is not true, then it is not a bill that people will support in the present economic atmosphere.

    • As I’ve written before, fear is a powerful motivator. But I think there are three reasons why I-1098 will remain a tax only on high incomes:

      First: Legislators have shown zero political will to even entertain the notion of an income tax in the recent past, let alone jump off a political cliff by voting to expand one. An income tax bill is introduced practically every legislative session. It goes nowhere. Even in the face of massive revenue shortfalls caused by the recession over the past three years, legislators voted for far more cuts ($5.2 billion worth) than tax increases ($800 million worth), and the latter were on soda, bottled water, candy and gum – hardly far-reaching or bold measures.

      Second: Even if the Legislature found the collective political will to amend I-1098, Washington’s initiative process means it’s unlikely that decision would go unchallenged. (In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening with the aforementioned taxes on soda/water/candy/gum.) That alone changes the political calculus for any elected official considering voting for changes to I-1098.

      Third: When the challenged measure shows up on the ballot, voters would have to approve it. Just imagine trying to convince a majority of Washington voters to expand a progressive tax on the wealthy down to cover themselves and an already struggling middle class. It’s unlikely to happen, to put it mildly.

      There is simply very little political will in the Legislature to raise taxes – which is why citizens have had to take matters into their own hands with Initiative 1098. And in the end, Washington voters will have the last word.

      As far as campaign ads go, EOI doesn’t have anything to do with them, so I can’t speak to that. But you could get in touch with the Yes on 1098 campaign about it.

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