Monday, May 24, 2010

How I-1098 could even help control state spending. Yes, for the state income tax on wealthy

Washington is one of the few states with no state income tax. I-1098 would create an income tax for couples making over $400,000 and individuals making over $200,000 per year.

It would raise around 1 billion dollars plus cut some other taxes.

Wow. That's quite a bit of money it could add to state government that's strapped for cash even though, I read, it would only tax the top 3 percent of incomes in the state.

Ya, I guess there is a lot of money out there in the hands of the wealthy.

Some say the state should do a better job controlling spending.

Well, what would they cut?

I'm not opposed to that idea either. There's a lot spent by the state on education, for instance.

I'm not against education, but many of our university presidents make well over the amount that would qualify them to pay this tax. Let's tax back some of that income.

Not just college presidents, but there are many other high end employees of the state that would be fertile ground for collecting this tax. Also many contractors who claim to be in the private sector, but end up getting much of their revenue from doing work for the state.

We could tax back some of this excessive income as a way of controlling state spending.

Sounds kind of funny. Pay large salaries and then tax it back.

Well, maybe that's the only way we can get the markets and political realities to solve the problem.

A reason why some of the state salaries are high is the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" idea. They go up when high end private incomes go up. This is what institutions claim they have to do for retaining and attracting talent.

Both government and private enterprise are often locked into a bidding war for what is supposedly thought of as talent.

Maybe some of those high end people are really talented, but listening to news about corporate executives and the 2008 banking debacle, I wonder.

The whole picture, both public and private, is driving up costs so it's time to tax some of that income back if we want to maintain the level of services that our state provides.

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