It’s been two weeks since the 2015 election, but that doesn’t mean campaigning is over. In fact, it appears that local liberals are planning to push at least three initiatives for 2016, so Jay Inslee and other Democrats are beginning (again) to sell their big-government, tax-raising agenda to the public.
Here are three ballot initiatives that Democrats are in the process of pushing or have signaled they will push in 2016.
1. A carbon tax.
A relatively new group called Carbon Washington is collecting signatures for Initiative 732, a plan to place a “tax on carbon burned in gasoline, natural gas and other fossil fuels — while cutting other taxes by an equal amount.” However, to the dismay of many liberals, it is a “revenue-neutral” plan, meaning it would not fill state government coffers with more money.
Rather, I-732 proposes to “raise an estimated $1.7 billion a year — and cost the average family an estimated $300 a year in higher gas and energy prices.” It would then pump that money “back to consumers, mostly through a full percentage point cut in the state sales tax.”
Backers are seeking to qualify the initiative to be placed before the state Legislature in 2016, and reported last week that it had gathered some 310,960 signatures and “only needs an additional 19,040 signatures to reach the overall signature goal of 330,000.” However, it is highly unlikely that lawmakers will act on the initiative. That decision will send I-732 to the ballot in November, 2016.
2. A cap on carbon emissions.
The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy—a coalition of extreme “green” groups—announced its plan push a cap-and-tax initiative in 2016 last month. The group has yet to release any substantive details about it’s job-destroying idea just yet. However, a press release from the alliance claims the initiative’s focus would be to hit our economy by charging businesses extreme greenies don’t like “a fee for each ton of carbon pollution they emit.”
The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy has started a lefty food fight with its efforts, attempting to discredit the carbon tax initiative. The group has circulated poll results that suggest voters would reject I-732, and, have even argued the initiative is racist.
Jay Inslee and extreme “green” groups oppose I-732 because it would not allow them to game the system to benefit their own interests. That infuriates the extreme green alliance. They prefer a cap-and-tax scheme that would raises taxes on businesses—which would then be passed on to consumers—in order to use the revenue to grow the size of government to benefit “green” donors and their various causes.
3. A state income tax.
Just in case taxes on certain businesses which raise prices and negatively impact job creation is not enough, a group of liberals have signaled their intention to start a class war of sorts by—once again—pushing a state income tax initiative in 2016. John Burbank, executive director of the labor-funded Economic Opportunity Institute, has begun championing a state income tax on so-called “high earners” (which, based on Democrats’ track record, will quickly become an income tax on everyone). And, he is using education funding – which Democrats have let deteriorate over the last generation that they have run Olympia – as the means to accomplish the liberals’ favorite objective.
Referring to the state Legislature’s refusal to raise taxes during the 2015 legislative session, Burbank has made various calls to action, stating that voters will need to “take matters into their own hands.” That Washington voters said “no” to an income tax many times before doesn’t appear to make a difference to Burbank’s logic. It’s a reminder of just how determined Democrats are to achieve their “guiding principle.”
It looks like Democrats have plenty to look forward to in 2016 as they attempt to increase their control over the pocketbooks of people across Washington.