Issaquah legislator backs corporate income tax

March 24, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. March 24, 2011

State Rep. Glenn Anderson seeks to scrap the unpopular business-and-occupation tax and levy a flat-rate corporate income tax instead.

Besides calling for a 7 percent corporate income tax on revenues after expenses, the legislation also proposes eliminating all B&O tax exemptions and prohibiting a personal income tax.

In introducing the bill and constitutional amendment, the Fall City Republican said the idea is based on the same premise as a recent proposal from the national deficit-reduction commission to simplify the federal tax code.

In Olympia, legislators face pressure to close tax “loopholes” to help patch a $5.1 billion hole in the 2011-13 state budget.

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Issaquah residents defied trends in November election

December 14, 2010

The ballot measure to create a state income tax failed just about everywhere outside of left-leaning Seattle and Vashon Island — except for a precinct nestled along Lake Sammamish.

Initiative 1098 received ironclad support — 80 percent — in the precinct. The catch: King County records indicate the precinct has 11 registered voters; 10 participated in the Nov. 2 election.

The information about the Lake Sammamish precinct comes from a detailed analysis of the precinct results in the recent election. (Issaquah is carved into 30 precincts.)

The neighborhood-level data — released a month after the election — illustrates how the Issaquah electorate bucked state trends on some issues and rejected incumbents even as the candidates cruised to re-election.

The dueling liquor initiatives on the ballot, 1100 and 1105, received uneven support from Issaquah voters.

Initiative 1100, a liquor privatization measure backed by Issaquah-based Costco — the largest employer in the city — received broad backing in the city even as the measure came up short statewide.

Initiative 1105 failed in every Issaquah precinct and only managed to garner 35 percent of the vote statewide.

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Issaquah precinct defied trend to support income tax measure

December 5, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 5, 2010

The ballot measure to create a state income tax failed outside of left-leaning Seattle and Vashon Island — except for a precinct nestled along the southern end of Lake Sammamish.

Initiative 1098 received ironclad support — 80 percent — in the precinct.

The catch: King County records indicate the precinct has 11 registered voters; 10 participated in the Nov. 2 election.

King County Elections has released detailed data for the election. The information offers insight into how residents in Issaquah and the surrounding area cast ballots in high-profile contests.

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Bring election questions to Zeeks Pizza forum

October 19, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 19, 2010

Learn about the initiatives on the November ballot and score some free nachos at a question-and-answer session sponsored by Zeeks Pizza in the Issaquah Highlands.

Jeff Wood, a local professor of civic and U.S. government affairs, is scheduled to answer questions at the restaurant, 2525 N.E. Park Drive, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25.

The nonpartisan event has been set up to better explain the information in the voters’ pamphlet to help Issaquah residents make informed decisions about the state initiatives on the ballot. TV spots, as many voters know, can be misleading.

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Fairness issue defines income tax debate

October 5, 2010

The state-sponsored spread in the Sept. 6 issue of Fortune magazine touted Washington as a land of natural beauty, educated residents and, oh yeah, no state income tax.

No state income tax for now, at least.

Initiative 1098, a measure on the November ballot, calls for instituting a state income tax on the richest 1.2 percent of earners. The measure could be a $2 billion boon for education and health care.

Initiative backers said the measure aims to correct a structural imbalance and lessen the reliance on sales tax — a revenue source subject to the roller-coaster fluctuations of the economy.

“This doesn’t solve everything that’s wrong with a tax system that’s ranked the worst in the nation, but it’s a step toward making it more fair,” Yes on Initiative 1098 spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said.

Opponents said levying a state income tax on high earners could erase a competitive edge and eliminate a draw for prospective business investment — and jobs — in a sour economy. Only a handful of states do not collect income tax.

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Press Editorial

October 5, 2010

Ballot measures target new, revised taxes

The November general election includes three tax initiatives that would purportedly raise or lower taxes in the future. It’s a convoluted array of ballot issues that says much about the unrest of these economic times.

• Vote no on Initiative 1107. The initiative asks voters to undo the sales tax increase on candy, gum, bottled water and carbonated beverages that legislators passed earlier this year and goes into effect in December. The tax is expected to raise $352 million for the state general fund. That isn’t enough to close the budget gap, but without it, education, social and health services will suffer more. The tax increase is not onerous enough to threaten anyone’s household budget. While legislators need to tweak some aspects of the new law, voters should not reverse it.

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Off the Press

October 5, 2010

Failed initiatives feature tapeworm, ninja gear

The list of numbers on the November ballot reads a little bit like a secret code ready to be cracked: 1053, 1082, 1098, 1100. I could continue.

The nine initiatives, resolutions and the referendum on the ballot contain something for everybody: tax hikes, tax rollbacks, liquor, funding for “green” schools, tougher bail rules for dangerous felons and liquor (again).

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