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.

June 9, 2010

Don’t Panic!

Filed under: Local Issue — Tags: , , , , — wally @ 9:19 pm

I know I read this in the paper also and then it was on the radio and on Facebook, and on KGMI’s website and on Facebook again

Local governments in Whatcom County reacted with shock Tuesday, June 8, to an announcement from the Washington Department of Revenue that British Columbia residents will soon be entitled to an exemption from state and local sales taxes on merchandise.

Read more: Bellingham Herald

Local governments reacting with shock?  Pooey.   Relax, there is absolutely no reason to worry. 

I’m not in shock and my feet are not elevated above my head.  I know that our state and much of local governments are both well equipped and well practiced at the art of taxing the bejesus out of anyone with a penny in their pocket.  After all, we live in the state with $30 tabs don’t we?   Let’s see, how many miles will they drive on our roads?  How many people are in their car?  Is their car a gas guzzler?  Impact fee for getting out of their car at Bellis Fair?  Additional impact fees for large people?  Our legislatures will do their magic and before we know it they’ll be getting more than ever from the Canadians and if they’re worth their salt they’ll manage to take more from us and blame it on the Canadians.   

And the Herald article points out that “The Whatcom Transportation Authority might feel the most pain,”   so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a  0.2% tax on all Canadians who stop and look at what pretty buses they have running around the Transportation Benefit District ;).

June 5, 2010

Where there’s a Dan, there’s a way

Filed under: Local Issue — Tags: , , , — wally @ 7:31 am

Word around town is that Mayor Dan Pike of Bellingham is looking again/still to raise taxes.  I first read the announcement in the Herald blogs,

Mayor Dan Pike wants the city to form a citywide Transportation Benefit District and increase the sales tax by two-tenths of 1 percent, which would generate about $3.8 million a year.

He’s already talked with City Council members who like the idea, but the council is scheduled for formally discuss the proposal for the first time on Monday, June 7.

…He’d like to see money go toward annual repaving, building bike lanes and sidewalks and, through a contract with WTA, providing bus service that would otherwise be cut.

Read more: http://blogs.bellinghamherald.com/traffic/?p=3863#ixzz0pzBhzCx7

and then saw on Facebook that he was going to be on KGMI’s PM Bellingham to peddle his new tax scheme. 

KGMI News/Talk 790  Ready for higher sales taxes in Bellingham? Mayor Dan Pike is proposing an increase to pay for transportation projects. Would you vote for such an increase?

Wasn’t it just a month or so ago that the people of Whatcom County told WTA Board member Dan Pike that they weren’t willing to spend this same amount?   Now we have Mayor Dan Pike asking the people of Bellingham for the same amount.  Is it a coincidence that it will take the exact same amount to improve transportation issues in Bellingham or is it that the WTA vote was used as a poll to see how much the people of Bellingham would cough up without choking?  

If I lived in Bellingham that’d be the question on my mind.  Do we need this, or is it Mayor Dan Pike who wants it, and he’ll find a way?

I won’t get to vote on this because I live outside of Bellingham.   However those of us who live outside of  Bellingham should have the same concerns, because we likely spend a good portion of our money in Bellingham where we will be paying this tax.  Consider trips to Costco, Walmart, Fairhaven, Bellis Fair, go see a movie, buy a car, do business in town?  The people of Bellingham will be voting on this tax, but given the commercial layout of the county we will all share in the paying.  

So if this vote were to go through, Mayor Pike would essentially get a good portion of the taxes that he was just denied in the recent WTA vote.  He also gets to contract with WTA to provide additional bus service in Bellingham and gets extra for other transportation related spending within the city.   I wonder if as both a WTA board member and the Mayor of Bellingham, he will withdraw himself from contract dealings with himself? 

Oh, and let’s not forget that whether we are in Bellingham or not, as State & Federal taxpayers we foot the bill for new WTA buses that get worn out in the City of Bellingham.  

I haven’t decided whether this is shrewd, conniving of both?   Hopefully it won’t matter as much as people awake to the fact that so many of the politicians in office are looking for too many ways to spend and too few ways to save. 

Isn’t it time to give tax increases a rest?

June 27, 2009

1001 ways to be taxed

Filed under: National Issue — Tags: , , — wally @ 8:11 am

cap-and-trade tazxSo, the US House has just passed what the Obama Administration and Some Democratic Party proponents hail as transformational legislation that puts us on a path towards clean energy for out nation.  Forgive my ignorance, but I could swear that we have been and still are on this path.  When did we get off that path?  Even the older cars in my driveway are much cleaner than their smog filtered ancestors from the 70’s.

Referring to an AP/Yahoo News,

The legislation would require the U.S. to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by about 80 percent by mid-century.

How the 1200 page brick of legislation works is basically by attaching government collected fees to producers of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.  Said fees would be used to,

…create millions of “green jobs” as the nation shifts to greater reliance on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and development of more fuel-efficient vehicles — and away from use of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

But said fees are also being used for political deals like this,

Rep. Alan Grayson, a first-term Democrat, won a pledge of support that $50 million from the proceeds of pollution permit sales in the bill would go to a proposed new hurricane research facility in his district in Orlando, Fla.

And said fees would also ultimately be handed down to the everyday people in this nation to the estimated tune of  $175-$770 per household.   I don’t like this path of taxing the American people under at least a partial guise of climate change.   Why is it that the government can’t just either stay out of this or just offer tax reductions rather than fees and penalties?

Why; because neither would produce cash for political deals.  That answer was neither rocket science, nor climate science, it was political science.

This just barely passed through the House of Representatives in a 219-212 vote, with 44 from Democratic Party showing a moment of clarity and voting against the Obama Adminstrations revenue plan.  This still has to make it through the Senate which, with the close House vote, is certainly not in the bag.

President Obama know that this tax program will have rough go of it in the Senate and is calling on all Senators to have courage.  I’m calling on all of you to have the courage to contact our Senators and politely let them know that you are against this tax legislation.

Member Name Electronic Correspondence
Senator Patty Murray (D- WA) http://murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm
Senator Maria Cantwell (D- WA) http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm

Just for fun, here are a few older, yet related posts

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress