Seattle liberals thought they had found a sure-fire way to get a state income tax – pass one in a friendly city, and then watch the policy work its way through guaranteed legal challenges until it was upheld by our state’s ultra-liberal state Supreme Court. And they settled on Olympia as the city that would certainly pass such a tax, so they could proceed with their strategy.
At least that was the plan for the far-Left Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI), and its delusional director (and failed Democrat legislative candidate) John Burbank. But a funny thing happened on their way to higher taxes – they lost.
A new analysis from The Olympian reports that “lost amid the stunning results of November’s presidential election was a smaller surprise on the homefront: For the first time in two decades, Olympia’s typically tax-friendly voters rejected a local tax proposal. Known as Initiative 1, the proposal sought a 1.5 percent income tax — the state’s first — on all households within city limits with income that exceeds $200,000 a year… despite the proposal’s appeal to progressive values, it wasn’t meant to be. Nearly 48 percent of Olympia voters (12,480) said yes, but about 52 percent (13,640) voted no.”
The outcome stunned the measure’s liberal backers back in Seattle and at EOI, which outspent the opposition by over 30-to-1. But, rather than admit that maybe voters really don’t want a state income tax(are you listening Jay Inslee?), they instead blamed the abnormal voters who turned out.
According to The Olympian, Burbank “said he was surprised by the election results. He acknowledged that the Olympia City Council’s attempt to keep Initiative 1 off the ballot, coupled with the opposition’s late rally, both played key roles in the outcome. ‘The mayor’s opposition was consequential, and that was unfortunate. We had not anticipated that,’ he told The Olympian. ‘If it had been a normal presidential election, I’m sure it would have prevailed.’ ”
Yep, that’s it, they just needed a “normal” election to prevail. Perhaps they have forgotten that a state income tax has failed all nine times it has gone before the voters.
And, given his push for an income tax on capital gains, it’s a lesson that Inslee has not yet learned either.