Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

July 1, 2010

Don’t be duped into voting for I-1098

Filed under: Media Issue,State Issue — Tags: , , — wally @ 6:49 pm

I-1098, formerly I-1077 is billed as making our state tax code more fair.  But the message on the street that seems to resonate is the one that was repeated in today’s Herald,

A campaign to impose an income tax on the state’s wealthiest residents is likely headed to the November ballot,

And it is the same message that is on the vote Yes on 1098 website

[I-1098] Imposes a high-earners income tax only on the wealthiest 3 percent of households

This should sound great to the 97% of us who aren’t the wealthiest 3% and even better because we are also promised a 20 percent cut in the state property tax and an elimination of B&O taxes for more than 375,000 small businesses.   And yes, it sounds great right up until you read the initiative and have the sense to put 2 and 2 together.

The Dupe:

As pointed out in the AP/Herald article the income tax has only 2 brackets and won’t apply to anyone who makes under $200,000.

The income tax would have two brackets. The first is 5 percent of any income above $200,000, or $400,000 for couples. The second bracket is 9 percent on the income above $500,000 for individuals or $1 million for couples.

Seams pretty clear, but the article is wrong.  If you read Initiative 1098 you will find that there are not just 2 brackets, there are actually 3 brackets and tax rates defined.

If taxable income received is: The tax is:
Not over $200,000 0
Over $200,000 but not over $500,000 5.0% of the excess over $200,000
Over $500,000 $15,000 plus 9.0% of the excess over $500,000

The initiative does not state that those making under $200,000 won’t be taxed.  It does say that we will be taxed at an initial rate of 0%.  With the aid of slacker media, we are being duped into voting in a state income tax that applies not just to the rich, but to everyone of us no  matter how much or how little we make.   If the intent was really to not tax those who make less than $200,000, then why not just say that instead of making a tax bracket with a rate of 0%.  Is anyone so  naive to think that the 0% rate won’t go up once the tax structure is in place?

One of the commenters on the AP/Herald article though, points out this regarding the initiative.

This initiative explicitly requires a future, majority vote of the populace to expand an income tax to lower income levels.

And they are correct, there is a section that would protect the us from this rate increasing without both the legislature and us approving it.

Sec. 1004. The excise tax rates in section 501 of this act may not be increased for any income level without a majority vote of the legislature and submission of the changes to the people for approval.

But I’ll say this again, as I’ve said it again before, Never underestimate our elected official’s resourcefulness when it comes to taking our money.    I am certain that the legislature will approve it leaving only the will of the voters between us and an income tax for everyone.

Does anyone remember the will of the voters who approved Initiative 960 which required a 2/3 majority of lawmakers to approve tax increases?  And do we remember that our lawmakers figured out, not a way to reign in spending, but rather, a way to suspended the initiative that we approved?   Here it is again, Never underestimate our elected official’s resourcefulness when it comes to taking our money.

Make no mistake, if you vote for a state income tax for anyone, you will be taxed by the state.  Don’t allow yourself to be duped. Vote NO on I-1098.


  1. You are saying this is a “dupe” because they don’t count not paying the tax as a tax bracket?
    Weak sauce. This is paranoid. And that’s just the weakest argument in a post full of weak arguments. There is no substantive thing said about the actual issue of an income tax and it’s pros and cons, nor the corresponding drop in other tax rates. What’s the good? What’s the bad? Nope, it’s just “don’t vote for this, there’s THREE brackets not two and they’ll raise it for sure in the future in a way I cannot identify at a time I couldn’t predict nor give reason for.”

    Comment by Bojangles — July 1, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

  2. You’re right there isn’t anything substantive about the actual issue of an income tax. If the proponents of 1098 would like to admit this is the first step in collecting an income tax from all of us then a lot of people would be making substantive arguments.

    This post is about people being tricked into supporting an income tax for “others” when in all likelihood the endgame is an income tax for everyone. dupe – to deceive, esp by trickery; make a dupe or tool of; cheat;fool

    Do you honestly believe that the 0% will remain at 0% for the rest of us?

    Comment by wally — July 1, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  3. “You’re right there isn’t anything substantive about the actual issue of an income tax.”
    That’s not what I said at all, and you know it.

    And while I’m perfectly aware of the meaning of “dupe”, I would like to ask if you understand the concept of tax burden? Do you understand the impacts income taxes have, vs. the impacts sales and B&O taxes have? How about the stability of income tax revenue vs. the revenue from sales tax?

    Even if your “endgame” scenario (which itself is a “dupe”; there does not exist a taxation endgame where everything is max-taxed, and to believe there is is preposterous) does play out and income taxes are raised AT A MUCH LATER DATE and through the legal process… so what? There are lots of people, myself included, who would like to see an income tax take the place of the regressive sales tax, business-denting B&O tax, and lifelong home preventing property tax.

    Your question then becomes silly, because while you intend it to have a bad answer that compromises the other side of the argument, some people would answer it as, “I sure hope so!” and see it as a good thing. Mostly because they can see past the tax just being a tax and see the advantages and disadvantages it has over other taxes.

    There’s more to the issue than the simplistic logic of this=tax, taxes=bad, ergo this=bad. In fact, all issues are more complicated than that. I just don’t want to see education, transportation, or other services cut, which is difficult when it’s 85% of the budget and 200% of everything else needs to be cut to bring us into the black.

    Comment by Bojangles — July 2, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  4. Being taxed 0% is not being taxed. Reporting this as if this is taxing is bending facts to do poor rhetorics.

    Seems like random body of the article written to justify the baseless title.

    Comment by Atacan — September 15, 2010 @ 11:50 am

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