Democrats don’t want to take “no” for an answer, particularly when it comes to a state income tax. The Washington State Democrat Party lists a state income tax as a “guiding principle” in its party platform. And, various Democrat lawmakers have introduced bills to implement a state income tax this legislative session. Of course, Jay Inslee and House Democrats’ state capital gains income tax is just another way of achieving their “guiding principle”—all this despite the fact that Washington voters have repeatedly rejected a state income tax when presented with it on the ballot.
The latest Democrat to push a state income tax is State Treasurer Jim McIntire. Yesterday, McIntire released his plan to overhaul the state’s tax system. McIntire’s plan would implement a 5 percent personal-income tax while eliminating the state property tax and reducing business taxes—what he calls a “grand bargain.”
“The tax overhaul would help fund the proposal Dorn released last week. That plan would go further than lawmakers’ current plans to lower class sizes, but not quite as far as Initiative 1351, the measure voters passed in November to lower K-12 class sizes.
“Lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee have proposed to lower only K-3 class sizes; Dorn’s plan would do that, plus lower class sizes in grades 4-12, but to a lesser extent than called for in I-1351.
“Dorn’s plan would also set teacher salaries in statewide bargaining — shifting some of those costs from local school levies to the state — rather than district by district.”
McIntire’s plan requires an amendment to the state Constitution that he would like to place on the 2016 ballot. He plans to travel around the state to discuss his plan. Given that voters rejected Democrats’ last attempt to implement a state income tax in 2010 by a 30% margin, we can’t imagine Washingtonians would be very receptive to his message.