Independent analysis shows Initiative 1098 delivers $2 billion for schools and health, tax cuts for middle class and small biz — just 1% to pay income tax

Voter, educate thyself! State law mandates that the Office of Financial Management (in consultation with other state offices) develop a fiscal impact statement for every statewide ballot initiative. The analysis of Initiative 1098 has just been released — highlights follow, with a link to the complete report below.

Major findings from the OFM report include:

Initiative 1098 will cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses.

  • I-1098 will decrease property taxes by $383 million in 2012 (rising to $425 million in 2016) for all Washington property owners, both individuals and businesses, by cutting the state property tax by 20 percent.
  • I-1098 will newly exempt 118,000 small businesses from the B&O tax, and provide substantial tax cuts for another 39,000 businesses.  Under I-1098, more than 80 percent of businesses in the state will be exempt from the B&O, while another 12 percent will see their taxes reduced.

Initiative 1098 will generate substantial new revenue to restore deep cuts to education and health care.

  • In 2013, I-1098 will deliver over $1.1 billion to fund educational priorities like K-12 class size reductions and increased access to higher education, and an additional $474 million for the voter-approved Basic Health Plan, public health and long-term care for seniors.
  • The measure will generate more than $2.2 billion annually thereafter, to be deposited in special trust funds for education and health care, respectively.

Initiative 1098’s income tax will affect just 1% of tax filers.

  • The OFM analysis finds that I-1098‘s income tax is strictly limited: 98.8% of households will pay no income tax under I-1098.
  • Since by law not a penny of income below $400,000 a year for couples will be taxed ($200,000 for individuals), just 38,400 individuals or households — out of 3.2 million — would file a Washington state tax return.

Read the full report from OFM here.

Looking for more information about Initiative 1098? Visit the Economic Opportunity Institute website.

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