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Opinion

Tue., Dec. 11, 2012

Lobby for deduction

Real long-term solutions to the “fiscal cliff” require shared sacrifice.

All sides profess so-called equity and fairness. Under current law, however, Washington taxpayers already have their first “sacrifice.” Specifically, for those who itemize, the deduction for state and local sales taxes has expired. If not reinstated by Dec. 31, Washington and six other no-income-tax states (Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming) will be on the outside.

Everywhere else, the sizable deduction for state income taxes appears untouched. So, ahead of any fiscal cliff solutions, those in a very few states may be carrying an even larger part of the tax load.

Federal tax policy should not discriminate. There should not be federal double-dips affecting only states with no income tax. If allowed, it is pure politics and mocks any so-called shared sacrifice, tax equity or fairness. According to Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office, two legislative remedies currently are available, but each requires final action in December.

We each have three elected officials in the combined House and Senate, and they need to hear from us now.

Robert Schweim

Spokane



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