Democratic state lawmakers have put forward a tax package in House Bill 2186 that would add $2.8 billion in new taxes. The distinguishing characteristic of the new taxes is that they target a minority of Washingtonians – the successful ones – for exceptional treatment.
But most onerous of all is the capital gains income tax. The Left has long agitated for laws that single out "wealthy" individuals as a unique revenue source in pursuit of a Utopian ideal of "fairness."
Consider these facts:
- Without adding taxes, state revenue is expected to increase from $38.2 to $40.8 billion – a 6.8 percent increase (Source pg. 6).
- The state biennial budget is currently $38.5 billion and the new budget proposed by the House Democrats spends $44.9 billion – a 16.7 percent increase.
- The House Democrats' budget would spend $375 million more on state employee raises as promised by Gov. Jay Inslee in bargaining last summer. Another $2.1 billion is earmarked for school employee raises.
- Not coincidentally, Inslee received $2.1 million of campaign support from labor organizations in his most recent election and at least $5.8 million in help from unions in 2012.
Democrat legislators also benefited when unions spent at least:
- $500,000 to replace Republican Steve Litzow with Democrat Lisa Wellman;
- $450,000 to replace Republican Teri Hickel with Democrat Christine Reeves; and,
- $2.7 million on the "New Direction" mega-PAC to target 13 races
The union executives making these investments have made no secret of their desire to see the recipients deliver on the union legislative agenda. Essentially, government unions seek the growth of government, the increase of pay and benefits, the decrease of workloads and the increase of job security.
The price tag for the union agenda must come from somewhere, so Gov. Inslee and the Democrats have decided to capture the money from "the rich" and to mask it with the rhetoric of redistributing wealth.
The Washington State Constitution makes clear that an income tax – especially one applied unequally – is not permissible in Washington, and the Freedom Foundation reminded Gov. Jay Inslee and all state lawmakers of that fact.
On April 6, the Freedom Foundation hand delivered a letter to Gov. Inslee and every Washington state lawmaker promising that if this law plundering a minority of the population is passed, the Freedom Foundation will lead a legal effort to strike it down.