Democrats are determined to impose their destructive economic agenda on our state. Liberal policies pose threats to jobs, democratic traditions, and transportation. But, perhaps the most egregious consequences of Democrats’ policies are the threats posed to Washington’s working families — we’re calling it the Democrats’ war on working families.
Democrats are always pushing some type of tax increase. If the liberals had their way in 2015, working families would be paying a state income tax on top of the federal income tax (in the form of a capital gains income tax).
It doesn’t matter to Democrats that, time after time, Washington State voters have defeated state income tax initiatives. The last time, in 2010, voters rejected an income tax initiative by a 28% margin.
Unfortunately, as Shift reported in the past, over 64% of Washingtonians voting against a state income tax is not enough to fend off Democrats and their obsession for a state income tax. You can bet that Democrats will continue attempting to achieve their party’s “guiding principle” — they propose some type of state income tax each and every legislative session.
But, it’s not just Democrats’ obsession with a state income tax that threatens working families. If it means they attain some aspect of their far-Left agenda, Democrats are more than willing to push regressive tax increases.
Seattle-centric Sound Transit is asking working families for quite a lot via its latest tax-raising scam, Sound Transit 3 (ST3). The latest money grab would take 25 years to complete — and that’s according to the transit agency’s latest timeline. Of course, it is highly unlikely chance that it’s completed on time, since Sound Transit is still trying to finish the projects it promised in its first ballot initiative back in 1996.
And, ST3 would cost working families $54 billion. That’s also on the highly unlikely chance that it’s completed on budget. The added insult to everything officials are asking of working families is that their scheme also includes highly regressive taxes that never end.
Specifically, ST3 would increase the sales tax rate to 10% in much of the greater Seattle area and 10.1% in Seattle, add a property tax increase of 25 cents per $1,000 valuation, and increase our car tab taxes.
Former Washington State Department of Transportation Director Doug MacDonald estimates that ST3 would add $401 to what the “typical household” in Seattle pays in taxes to Sound Transit alone, bringing the new grand total to $713 per year. That’s a whopping 128.5% increase. The average household in Bellevue would see a 126.9% increase.
Considering that some of the most liberal supporters of ST3 have admitted light rail will not improve traffic congestion, asking workers for so much without properly assessing all other options is wrong.
Washington State consistently ranks among the top states for highest taxes in a variety of categories. Here’s the list:
- Death tax – #1 at 20%
- State/local cell phone taxes – #1 at 18.69%
- State liquor tax per gallon – #1 at $33.54
- State general sales tax collection per capita – #3 at $1,666 (U.S. average is $851)
- State cigarette tax per 20 pack – #7 at $3.025
- State tax collections per capita – #20 at $2,789 (U.S. average is $2,677)
- State/local tax collections per capita – #22 at $4,416 (U.S. average is $4,600)
- State/local property tax collections per capita – #23 at $1,350 (U.S. average is $1,439)
- State beer tax per gallon – #24 at $0.26
- State wine tax per gallon -# 25 at $0.87
- State/local tax burden per capita as % of income – #26 at $4,541 (U.S. average is $4,420)
It’s important to recognize that Democrats’ tax-crazed agenda is all about supporting special interests. It’s not about working families, or the economic wellbeing of our state.
In fact, when faced with supporting special interests or supporting working families, Democrats will always side with special interests – because that’s who pays their campaign bills.