September 23, 2019
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Spokane, Vancouver, King County leaders oppose initiative to cap car tab fees

Spokane employers and local officials held a news conference last week to speak out against Initiative 976, which would cap car tab fees and threaten $25 billion in transportation projects, opponents say.

“I-976 undermines the important transportation infrastructure our community is working so hard to build,” said State Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, as reported by local news station KREM. “Whatever you care about in transportation, I-976 will attack it -- from pothole repair to transit to bike and pedestrian infrastructure to the North Spokane Corridor. If you care about transportation progress and safety in Spokane, you should vote no on I-976.”

The I-976 campaign is led by longtime tax opponent Tim Eyman. He told KREM that state government already has plenty of money.

"A $3.5 billion tax surplus is more than enough money to backfill any effected program, but the whole reason the initiative even exists is because the voters have twice voted for these $30 tabs that place a flat, fair and reasonable $30 to license your vehicle," he said.

But the initiative “essentially stops resources” going to state, regional and local projects, opponents say. This includes repairs for highways, bridges, overpasses, ferries and more, plus special services for seniors, veterans and even the Washington State Patrol.

Opposition to the initiative also appeared in Vancouver and King County last week.

AWB announced its opposition to I-976 Monday morning. AWB’s board of directors voted to oppose the initiative at last week’s Policy Summit.

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Arguments Against a State Income Tax

An income tax is not in our best interest

By Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson

Today, we are at a point where Washington legislators need to reexamine their financial practices and consider the consequences of their actions that have led some to consider establishing a state income tax.

The historically unpopular notion of introducing an income tax is not exactly new to Washington, yet it has seen growing interest from income tax supporters in big city government and from certain state lawmakers who would pass income tax legislation if given the opportunity.

As Washington State Treasurer, four-term Benton County Treasurer, and licensed CPA for over 25 years, I have cultivated an automatic sense of duty to advocate for fiscal responsibility. When I see such disregard for taxpayers, my obligation is to stand up for what is right on their behalf.

Many of the legislature's self-induced financial woes have readily available remedies that do not involve raising taxes or adding an income tax, making it apparent to me that as a state we have some serious financial issues within our legislative practices we need to start addressing...

Taxing income would weaken Washington's thriving economy and reduce our capacity to compete for business. We need to agree on improving our habits and reigning in state debt before considering the addition of new taxes. An income tax is not in our best interest.

Read the full guest column in The Tri-City Herald