State law and state’s budget office contradict the claim that Bracken tax bill wasn’t a tax increase

by | Jun 15, 2013

Thursday night, with a 61% yes vote in the state senate, the “Bracken estate tax” tax increase bill was passed. 

       The state budget office (OFM) has already completed its cost projection and found it will cost taxpayers $517 million over the next 10 years.
(OFM WEBSITE:  http://listserv.wa.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A3=ind13&L=TAX-AND-FEE-PROPOSALS&E=quoted-printable&P=10925362&B=–_000_3A657B6DF8B2BE458B4F8CFB75209D5D0CBCDBEFWAXMXOLYMB010WA_&T=text%2Fhtml;%20charset=us-ascii&XSS=3&header=1)

       Nonetheless, during yesterday’s legislative debate, this was said:  “This is in no way a tax increase,” (Democrat Representative Reuven) Carlyle said (CROSSCUT:  http://crosscut.com/2013/06/14/olympia-2013/115000/state-senate-goes-wire-deciding-estate-tax/)

       One can argue that this is a good or bad retroactive tax increase, a legal or illegal retroactive tax increase, a fair or unfair retroactive tax increase.  But one cannot question that it is a tax increase.  State law and the state’s budget office contradict the claim that the Bracken tax bill wasn’t a tax increase.

       And since it is a tax increase imposed by the Legislature without a vote of the people, it will be on the November ballot for a public vote.  Despite the Legislature’s decision to slap an emergency clause on the bill to make impossible for voters to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed right to referendum, the people will be voting on this tax increase in November.  The Bracken “estate tax” tax increase will be Advisory Vote #3 on this November’s ballot.  We will get to learn whether the people want this tax increase “Repealed” or “Maintained.”  There will be 4 pages in the voters pamphlet listing each legislator, how each legislator voted, and list each legislator’s party affiliation, city they live in, phone number, and email address. 

      The voters will get the chance to decide whether they support or oppose last night’s $517 million tax increase.  And they’ll know who voted for it and who voted against it.  As the intent section for Initiative 960’s advisory votes explained:  “The people have a right to know what’s happening in Olympia.”

      As you know, our new initiative — LET THE VOTERS DECIDE ON A 2/3-FOR-TAXES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT — gives taxpayers the chance to reiterate their support for the 2/3. With our initiative, we’re going to let the voters decide on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment.

 
      Our new initiative is, by far, the most powerful way we have to fight back against Olympia’s insatiable appetite for higher taxes.