KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson recently said he believes the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision-driven $100,000 per day fine on the state is “a ‘backdoor’ attempt to impose a state income tax,” something the court has “no right to do.” Well, as Shift has pointed out, if it is the court’s “backdoor” attempt, then Democrats are already lining up to walk through it.
Democrat state Rep. Jim Moeller—the number three Democrat in the state House—was quick to suggest that a state income tax is a solution to the problems pointed out by the court. Jay Inslee followed up Moeller’s suggestion, claiming that the state would require “some additional revenue source” to meet the constitutional duty which Democrat governors have ignored since 1985.
Democrats’ use of the court’s order as an excuse to push a state income tax should come as no surprise. After all, a state income tax is listed as the state party’s “guiding principle.” And, of course, Democrats have quite a long track record of pushing for the tax. This Throw Back Thursday, we’re taking a look back on five times Democrat lawmakers championed a state income tax.
- Democrat State Treasurer Jim McIntire released his planto overhaul the state’s tax system in April 2015. McIntire’s plan proposed to implement a 5 percent personal-income tax while eliminating the state property tax and reducing business taxes—what he called a “grand bargain.” McIntire’s plan required an amendment to the state Constitution that he wanted to place on the 2016 ballot.
- Senate Democrats, once again, demonstrated their complete disconnect from reality by introducing a bill to implement a state income tax billduring the 2015 legislative session. The bill was sponsored by Democrat state Senators Maralyn Chase, Bob Hasegawa, Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Pramila Jayapal and called for a constitutional amendment that would allow a state income tax.
- Democrat state Sen. Marko Liias introducing a state income tax bill of his own during the 2015 legislative session—apparently, for Democrats, one income tax bill wasn’t enough. Liias claimedhis state income tax would fund teacher pay raises using disingenuous statistics and flawed math. During the 2014 legislative session, as a member of the state House, then-Rep. Marko Liias (D-Mukilteo) gained a total of 16 Democrat co-sponsors for his state income tax bill.
- Democrats have not been shy in publically proclaimingtheir support of a state income tax. Democrat state Sen. David Frockt said he “favors significant taxes on the wealthy—a capital gains tax, income tax, and closing corporate tax loopholes…” during his campaign in 2014. Additionally, Sen. Pramila Jayapal supports “smart, progressive policies—including an income tax on the rich…” And, Sen. Cyrus Habib said he hopes for “eventually passing a capital-gains tax or an income tax on the rich.”
- Jay Inslee and state House Democrats proposed a state income tax in the form of a state capital gains income tax as part of their respective budgets. Of course, Inslee and his fellow Democrats attempted to pass it off as anexcise tax rather than an income tax. As Shift reported, the problem with classifying a tax on capital gains income as an excise tax is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the United States Supreme Court classify it as, in fact, an income tax. Many viewed the Democrats’ capital gains income tax as a backhanded attempt to seek a constitutional amendment that would allow for a tax on income.
Washington voters last rejected the Democrats attempt to implement a state income tax in 2010 by a 30% margin. But, Democrats just won’t take “no” for an answer. Rather, pushing though a state income tax appears to remain the Holy Grail for Democrats (and their labor allies), and they aren’t likely to give up on their quest to obtain it soon.