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Eye On Olympia

Roundup: Rep. Hunter runs for KC exec, S-R on taxes, Publicola on income tax initiative…

-Andrew Villeneuve at the Northwest Progressive Institute blog has the much-predicted news that Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, is in fact going to run for King County executive. Also running: fellow lawmaker Sen. Fred Jarrett, D-Mercer Island.

-Spokesman-Review editorialist Gary Crooks weighs in on the state’s tax structure, saying that as a percentage of income it’s dropped significantly in recent years. Writes Crooks:

That’s probably surprising to most people given the Republicans’ drumbeat on “out-of-control” spending…The problem with measuring the affordability of taxes and spending against total income is that the state doesn’t have an income tax. The above calculations help explain why it should. The state is relatively rich, but it has a tax code that’s unsuited to tapping that wealth. The result is that high-income households send relatively large sums to the feds and relatively paltry amounts to the state. Conversely, the state taxes the poor at the highest levels in the nation because of the heavy reliance on our regressive sales tax.

-On that note, Publicola’s Josh Feit seems to be predicting a citizen’s initaitive in 2010 to launch a state income tax.

-Lastly, a little desert with the tax-structure leafy greens we’re serving up today: South Korean researchers claim that they’ve cloned beagles that glow red. Really.


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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