Shift has reported often about just how much Democrats in Washington want a state income tax, and just how much they (especially Jay Inslee) don’t want voters to know that they want an income tax.
And, even though there will be a vote on the creation of an income tax in the city of Olympia this November, the liberals behind that measure really didn’t want to tell voters the truth, and mention “income tax” in the ballot. And now, they got a judge to agree with them in trying to fool voters.
In just another example of Washington’s judiciary bending over backwards to satisfy liberal demands (think about initiatives for charter schools and making it harder to raise taxes being declared unconstitutional), a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled that the upcoming ballot initiative is really about “establishing and funding a college grant program”, and not about the income tax funding mechanism which has been rejected nine times by state voters which provides money for the “grant program.”
The local paper covering the story, The Olympian, outed the political strategy behind the measure back in September – “King County activists wanted to use Olympia as a test case for the legality of a graduated income tax, but it was clear early on that cities lack authority to enact such a tax. That is exactly what Judge Jack Nevin ruled. Besides the illegality of the measure, the costs for an election and inevitable legal fights over the constitutionality of such a tax — if approved by voters — were not welcome.” That was after the initiative was removed from the ballot, but before a friendly judge decided to put it back on.
So the voters of Olympia will get to be the political guinea pigs that liberal activists want them to be in November, and take up the income tax question. Of course, they will have to read closely to know that’s what they are deciding, and not just using other people’s money to send kids to college.
Fred Chittenden says
California got it’s income tax in the 1960s via a similar education initiative where a small income tax was hidden in the fine print, while all the marketing and the election hubbub was about “let’s help the kids or teachers or something”…