Monday, April 20, 2009

Quiet tax increases and the big one

Our Washington Legislature is quietly raising taxes. They can do it without a vote of the suckers aka taxpayers if they can get a 2/3 vote. And when is a fee increase a tax increase? Always. Also notice the trick: In many cases they are not raising your taxes; they are allowing your city or county to do it. But what will the county say? "The Legislature forced us to raise your taxes; they cut our funding, so we had to." Is 10 per cent high enough sales tax? With King County's extra tax on restaurant meals for Paul Allen's stadium (or was it John Ellis's Mariners stadium?) I have already paid 10% sales tax. So will you vote to raise it above 10%? | Tax, fee plans may induce sticker shock
OLYMPIA – As Olympia struggles to agree on a major tax plan to send to voters in November, they’re also talking about a lot of small things that will never appear on any ballot – but that are still likely to cost you. Among them: - Letting cities impose a 6 percent tax on water and sewer districts. - Allowing state college tuition increases of nearly 30 percent over the next two years. - Letting local school districts collect tens of millions of dollars more in property taxes. - Raising some court fees by $50 to $200. - Tripling the $50 “document fee” that auto dealers can charge buyers. - Letting counties tack a new 6 percent tax onto power, garbage, cable-TV and other utility bills for residents who live outside cities. - Charging a new, voluntary $5-a-car annual fee for state parks. - Boosting the costs of hunting and fishing licenses, as well as raising licensing fees for thousands of health care workers.
The Big One this year: Your Legislature hopes you will fall for "it's for health care."
At the state level, House lawmakers will hold a hearing today on their leading tax plan. It would boost the state sales tax by about a third of a cent for the next three years. If voters agree to that in a statewide vote in November, the state would collect hundreds of millions of dollars to help pay for health care programs across Washington.
If you believe this tax increase would be for health care... Gullible! It's to pay for your Legislature's foolish overcommitment to spending in 2008. Update: The Seattle Times has found some politicians who claim it's not bait and switch (really Washington Monument syndrome) to fund second and third-priority functions while holding top priorities hostage unless the taxpayers vote for higher taxes.
During a public hearing this morning, anti-tax activist Tim Eyman accused lawmakers of "the oldest trick in the book - fund non-essential programs with existing taxes, then hold essential programs hostage, demanding a voter-approved ransom to get them back." "Dante's Inferno describes the seven circles of hell. There needs to be an 8th circle added and reserved for politicians who are willing to throw the elderly and the disabled under the bus, defund their programs, and then exploit them, using them as props and pawns in their never-ending pursuit of higher taxes," he said.
Cross posted at Economic Freedom.

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