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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sort Of No New Taxes.

The Washington Legislature closed out the special session without imposing any significant new taxes. But the "Democratic" Party controlled Legislature is pitching a huge hissy fit 'cause the People required accountability with 1053.

We're getting a batch of new fees imposed on use the stuff we already paid for. People in the Puget Sound area are gonna get screwed via the imposition of new fees (tolls on 520, for example) to use the roads they already own.

Freedom Foundation issued a couple of press releases.

The Tax Loopholes are Rigged

Legislative session is finally over. This year labor unions led the fight to close tax "loopholes" in lieu of budget cuts, but their framing of the issue has a few loopholes of its own. Earlier this month the Freedom Foundation sent out a press release exposing the fact that unions themselves are the primary beneficiaries of select tax breaks.

Labor unions--which have been fighting so hard to paint beneficiaries of tax exemptions as greedy fat cats who enjoy watching small children starve--have conveniently failed to mention their special tax treatment in the myriad press releases, statements and public testimony on the state budget. We at the Freedom Foundation are not the only ones sitting up and taking notice of the issue. Following our release, Washington State Wire's Erik Smith wrote an excellent, in-depth, story covering the murky issue of union tax breaks. Smith expands on the matter, revealing union tax breaks well in excess of many enjoyed by the labor-maligned business community:

"Federal stats say Washington's unionized workers earn an average of $1,068 a week. Union dues typically run one to two percent of gross income. If you figure it at 1.5 percent, that means Washington-state unions collect $503 million a year in dues.

"So at the current services B&O rate of 1.8 percent, the tax break is worth $9 million annually. It might be off a million or so either way, but that's about as close as anyone can come."

To read Erik Smith's full story, visit the Washington State Wire webpage here.

Unions are big business

Unions are clearly big business in Washington state, bringing in half-a-billion in dues each year. We can only hope the exposure of hefty union tax breaks and the concomitant hypocrisy of union rhetoric rebalances the tax break discussion in the Legislature. And speaking of hypocrisy, when asked to comment on labor's special tax treatment, Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson responded:

"We're calling for a moratorium on a wide swath of business tax exemptions," he said. "We've never said all tax exemptions are bad or do not have a valid purpose--many of them do--but in a time of severe budget deficits, there is a need for greater shared sacrifice out there. That's been our argument--it's not just been an attack on business tax exemptions."

Right. Shared sacrifice is only a good idea when others are forced to do the sacrificing.

What's that, Mr. Labor Council President? You want to close tax loopholes? I'm sorry. We can't hear you through the hypocrisy.

They ought to be ashamed. And we ought to take action. Read the blog that exposed this hypocrisy here.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Everyone wants government to pay for lots of goodies, but no one wants to pay the taxes for those extra goodies. The Democrat politicians insist there are the "rich" who don't pay their fair share.

For some reason the Democrat politicians can't seem to tax the "rich" effectively. Either the "rich" are rich because they honestly earned it, or because the rich are the Democrat politicians' buddies.

We have both types in Washington State. The Unions Bosses are buddies with the "Democratic" Party; they are corrupt. We also have rich people like Bill Gates, whose Microsoft Corporation is losing market share because innovation eludes them.

Washington State must stop listening to the soothing words of the Democrat politicians and start voting for responsible leadership. We need equality of taxation, not this phoney stick-it-to-the-rich attitude.

Washington State also needs to have realistic expectation of what government should provide -- basic public services which cannot be privately consumed. A lot of the current budget is being directed to the Democrats long-standing buddies. Hacking that off would be a start, but only a start.

Some revenue increase particulars for policy wonks. More as the details get published.

That day trip across the Sound is going up even more than the Summer fare increase. $41,016,808 from increased fares for ferry rides. 2ESSB 5742

Water system operating permit fees. Take that big gulp now. $15,670,000 in water system permit fees. SSB 5364

Court is going to cost more. You may get justice, but it will cost you. $8,850,000 in increased court fees - final passage. SB 5941

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