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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 5, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Universities need more funding, less talk

Reduce all tax loopholes instead of eliminating some

Thanks for Danny Westneat’s column on the need for more funding for colleges. He makes a number of valid points [“Colleges need money, not talk,” NWSunday, March 31].

On the issue of raising more revenue by eliminating tax loopholes, he follows convention by choosing his favorites to eliminate. Similar cases can and will be made by other people about other tax loopholes. We must remember: Every tax loophole has a benefiting organization with clout in Olympia.

So don’t choose among loopholes, but reduce them all, rather than debating about which to eliminate. Calculate the loophole benefits just as they are calculated currently, but then allow only a fraction of each, say 75 percent, for every loophole. This has the benefits of simplicity and fairness.

All loopholes are reduced by the same percentage. All current loophole beneficiaries are impacted in the same way. Choosing among loophole beneficiaries is eliminated.

There are several ways to implement this simple concept. Maybe the elimination percentage should be 90 percent, or 65 percent. Maybe it should be 90 percent the first year, 80 percent the second, and 70 percent the third. Maybe the percentage should be set to balance some fraction of the education budget shortfall or 100 percent. Let Olympia choose the specifics.

Jerry L. Lundry, Bellevue

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