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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM

State income tax

Pay for the things you care about

I feel the day will come when enough people will see the light and start to call for a progressive state income tax.

It doesn’t need to be complicated. The law could require that you provide a copy of your federal tax payment and pay to the state a certain percentage of that.

I lived for more than 40 years in a state with an income tax and do not feel it stunted my growth or caused me to grow strange things on my head. You, too, can join the 21st century and believe in paying for what you consider important — education, roads, viaducts, tunnels, indigent health care, state care for the mentally handicapped — you name it, you pay for it. Just like grown-ups.

— Jack McClurg, Marysville

Income tax beginning of vicious cycle

The Times is right in “State should shift cuts in education to less-urgent programs” [editorial, April 6]. To my fellow residents who think income taxes are the right approach, I have to ask: What are you people thinking?

This year, the Legislature will approach you, the voter. They will say, “Save the parks and, of course, save the children! All you have to do is vote to tax those rich people earning over $500,000.” You will vote yes.

Now remember, the feds are doing the same. The same 5 percent of the rich will make all of your dreams come true. But do the rich really have enough to pay for increased taxes at the federal and the state level?

A couple of years from now, the tax revenues will not meet the revenue projections. Our legislators will have spent the money already and need to raise income taxes, blaming the shortfall on the feds. The Legislature will need to raise and expand your income tax. This cycle will continue until everyone is paying an income tax.

Your other taxes will not go down, and our state will look like California. We know how well that worked out!

— Robert Morgan, Seattle

Taxes needed to provide world-class education

Tax me, and tax me now — but not without a reduction of the oppressive sales taxes in our state.

When I heard about the proposal for a high-incomes tax, I personally cheered — for our schoolchildren, seniors, the ill and the middle class in general.

Our state is home to the fourth-wealthiest county in the nation, yet we do not support our public schools like other progressive states. Our schools are near the bottom in per-pupil funding, and too many parents just give up and put their children in private schools because many can afford to in this very wealthy state.

Children deserve a world-class education to prepare them for college and good jobs, whether they live in Lynnwood, Tacoma, Spokane or on Mercer Island. We need a high-incomes tax, and we need it now!

— Patricia Betz, Mill Creek

Comments | More in Taxes, Washington Legislature


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