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Spin Control

Posts tagged: state income tax

Sunday Spin: Checking out claims on a dog day afternoon

OLYMPIA – In these dog days of summer, things that would not get a second-look the rest of the year are tested for news viability under much lower July vacation standards in an effort to fill the paper.

Any other time, a press release from one candidate complaining that his opponent was lying about his stance on an issue would likely go straight to the delete file. Lying in campaigns is, after all, a time-honored political tradition constitutionally protected by the state Supreme Court.

But Democrat Rich Cowan’s complaint that Republican state Sen. Mike Baumgartner was lying about Cowan’s stance on a state income tax came with an interesting wager: If Baumgartner could prove Cowan supported a state income tax, he could plant one of his campaign signs in Cowan’s yard. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

This protest required a lot of air

Protesters work to prop up an elephant they are inflating on the Capitol Rotunda floor as part of a call for a state income tax.

OLYMPIA — As legislative leaders sweated the small stuff on the operating budget and other members awaited word of a deal, protesters called for something that isn't really on anyone's radar screen right now.

A progressive income tax for the state.

Members of the Backbone Campaign draped a banner for a state income tax over the fourth floor railing and chanted while others worked to inflate a large elephant on the rotunda floor. The sign on the side of the elephant, readable once it got nearly to full inflate: “Progressive Income Tax.”

While a proposal for a state income tax gets introduced by someone almost every year, there was  no serious discussion of such a tax this year as legislators struggled with the budget. An initiative for an income tax on the wealthy was defeated in 2010, and several times before that, reaching back to the 1930s.

“Somebody's got to have the guts to talk abour real reform,” Bill Moyer, of Vashion Island, co-founder and director of the Backbone Campaign, said. Legislators should “stretch the boundaries of what the perceive is politically possible.” 

What’s missing from this commercial?

Labor Day weekend is often the point when campaigns kick into high gear with television commercials, and seveal initiative campaigns did so this year.

Among them was a television spot in favor of Initiative 1098, which would make some significant changes in state tax law. That is to say it would impose an income tax on people making more than $200,000 a year, or couples making more than $400,000 a year.

Missing from the commercial, however, is any use of the phrase “income tax.” It talks about removing the business and occupation tax for some operations and lowering overall taxes for many people. But the I-T phrase doesn’t come up.


Opponents say that’s a significant omission. They have a new radio ad, which uses the phrase “income tax” at least six times.


So are the Yes on 1098 folks trying to hide the fact that? No, says spokesman Sandeep Kaushik. “We think that’s one of the things people know about 1098. What a lot of people don’t know about 1098 is the benefits. The point of the ad is to inform the people about the benefits.”

How one gets those benefits, however, is by placing an income tax on the so-called “high earners.”

To see the commercial and judge for yourself, go inside the blog.

Come to WA. There’s no income tax…yet

OLYMPIA –Washington state touts its lack of an income tax in a current magazine supplement designed to attract business to the state. Not mentioned in the special section in Fortune Magazine is the fact that could change in a few months.
In three different places in an “advertorial” in the current issue of Fortune, prospective businesses or new residents are told that along with a well-educated work force and access to the great outdoors, one reason to come to Washington is the state has no individual or corporate income tax.
It’s even a factoid graphic when the 8-page supplement lists advantages in Washington By the Numbers:

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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