All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2/3rds majority to raise taxes revisited

Last Autumn the people voted for I-1185, to require the state legislature to have a 2/3rds super-majority to impose new taxes.  Subsequently, the state Supreme Court struck down the same requirement (as stated in I-1053) as an unconstitutional interference with the legislature's power to raise taxes.

Requiring super-majority in legislature to increase taxes is an old issue in Washington State.  The people have repeatedly voted for  it, the legislature has repeatedly found ways around the will of the people.  When the court revoked I-1053, the dark power infecting the state government removed a substantial chunk of the people's right to self-rule.

The State's Constitution is very clear:

SECTION 1 LEGISLATIVE POWERS, WHERE VESTED. The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but /////the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature/////, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature.
The peoples law, the requirement of a 2/3rds majority, was completely constitutional.  The Court is out of line.


Nonetheless, the State's citizens desire to do things in an orderly way, one that does not require the hanging renegade judges.  But the people have not been docile.   As usual,  Tim Eyman is first in line with a proposal --
  1. Requires yearly advisory votes every November asking voters whether they support or oppose letting the people vote on a 2/3-for-taxes constitutional amendment;
  2. Limits the duration of tax increases -- those imposed by the Legislature after January 1, 2013 -- to one year; and
  3. Provides information in the voters' pamphlet about the governor's and legislators' voting records on tax bills -- increases imposed after January 1, 2013.
Mr Eyman is promoting the democratic policies of having the people closely involved with their own governance.  The undemocratic "Democratic" Party controlled legislature can't stand the super-majority requirement to raise taxes.  The people voted for it -- why doesn't the legislature go along? 

This new super-majority initiative petition has yet to be numbered.  When it is, Impolite will announce and back it.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Gov. Inslee to push gun control in special session

And other stuff.

"[Inslee] has several items on his list of policies, including the Reproductive Parity Act, the Washington Dream Act, and legislation on gun violence that would include universal background checks for gun sales." Spokane Spokesman Review
  • The Reproductive Parity Act would require every insurance policy in the state that covers maternity care to also cover abortions.  HB 1044.  Former Attorney General Rob McKenna states that the RPA as formulated, would inhibit federal health aid to Washington State.
  • The Washington Dream Act would promote state education for children of illegal immigrants.  HB 1817. Education is in the state interest, and according to our state constitution.  But one cannot help but get the feeling this measure is designed to enable care of anchor babies after they grow up, and not actually in the interest of education.  To forward this bill, the definition of "in state student" has been modified to "resident student" [RCW 28B.15.012(2)(e)].
  • Gun Control - Universal background checks for gun sales. HB 1588. Background checks can be enforced only if legislation is added that requires comprehensive gun registration.  Otherwise there is no way to verify that required background checks at time of transfer have been made.  If you think the gun controllers are willing to just "trust us" to register sales, then why do they push the background checks?  “Putting in place a system that makes sure that there isn’t a clear pathway around those rules makes sense and is likely to reduce some gun violence in our society,” State Representative Pedersen said.  The bill's supporters hardly intend to prevent felons from getting their hands on guns.  
Government should be in the service business. When did they get into the control business?

To be sure, Inslee has a pile of legislation to push.  Apparently he plans to apply immense pressure to the legislature to enact his leftist policies.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Budget time in Olympia

Budget time -- here’s an overview of what’s happening.
Less than four months into office, the campaign promises by Gov. Jay Inslee that he wouldn’t raise taxes have already been broken. He recently came out with a budget outline that would raise about $1.2 billion in taxes to pay for more government spending. His plan would roll back a series of tax breaks for businesses and individuals, and would make permanent tax increases that were supposed to be temporary and set to expire this year on June 30, 2013.

The temporary taxes were part of an $890 million tax package passed by the Legislature in 2010. Included in that tax package in 2010 were increased business and occupation (B&O) taxes, an increased tax on beer, soda, bottled water and many others. This would effectively repeal the People's initiative Initiative 1107.

The breakdown on taxes:
Temporary taxes which would become permanent
  • 50-cent beer tax, and expanding it to microbreweries ($127 million)
  • 0.3 percent B&O tax on service businesses ($534 million), including:
  • architects
  • attorneys
  • barbers and beauty shop owners
  • chiropractors
  • dentists
  • funeral directors
  • janitors
  • music teachers
  • physicians
  • real estate agents
  • school bus operators
  • veterinarians
Tax Incentives which would end (which equals tax increases)
  • vehicle trade-ins when purchasing a new car: $94.8 million
  • local residential phone service: $83.2 million
  • computer software: $78.5 million
  • most state businesses that were given lower rates in order to locate or expand in Washington: $66.2 million
  • non-residents who shop in Washington stores: $63.7 million
  • bottled water: $51.5 million
  • recycled fuel environmental programs at Washington’s oil refineries: $40.8 million
  • resellers of prescription drugs: $29 million
  • long-term rental of commercial land/buildings: $27.8 million
  • import commerce: $24.1 million
  • farm equipment: $5.6 million
The governor explained that allowing temporary tax increases to continue is not breaking his no-tax campaign promise because it is not an actual tax increase. I tend to disagree and when you repeal exemptions and extend temporary taxes, you are raising taxes. The media seems to agree as well and you can read more here, here, and here.

Campaign promises and semantics aside, we do not need to raise taxes. Washington state is expected to take in $2 billion more in the coming budget cycle. We should be able to prioritize spending in the budget – fund education first, protect our most vulnerable citizens and keep our communities safe by funding public safety with the 6.6 percent increase in tax collections. I am guessing many employers and families trying to make ends meet would love to see that kind of increase in their income. Unfortunately, the governor is proposing more ways to take money out of the pockets of employers and taxpayers.

The governor wants to raise taxes on the very people our own State Treasurer Jim McIntire is saying we tax too much. "You don’t often hear a Democrat say we over-tax business, but we do," McIntire said. "I want to be really clear that it’s a problem in the state."

While the governor’s plan is simply a proposal, it sends the wrong message. We have an increase in tax revenue, even though our economy is still limping along, but he wants to ask citizens for another $1.2 billion to increase spending. Maybe he should take a look at the Senate.

Senate budget proposal
The Majority Coalition Caucus in the Senate passed a bipartisan budget proposal last week by a vote of 30-18. It does NOT raises taxes, yet increases funding for education by $1 billion to address the McCleary decision. It is about priorities. The governor feels taxes are needed to fund education, whereas the Senate is showing what House Republicans have been saying all along: If you prioritize you can fund the core functions of your government and adequately fund education as required by the McCleary decision and our state Supreme Court without asking for more taxpayer dollars. While the Senate budget may not be exactly what House Republicans would draft, it does approach our principles and priorities.

House Democrat budget proposal
On Wednesday, House Democrats introduced a budget similar to Gov. Inslee’s. It would:
  • increase taxes by $1.3 billion;
  • spend $13 million less on higher education than the Senate budget, and permit tuition increases of 10 percent at UW/WSU and 6 percent at other two and four-year institutions (the Senate budget lowers tuition).
  • make $757 million in one-time fund transfers, including tapping ALL of the state’s rainy-day fund ($575 million, of which $238 million would be spent and $337 million would be left to comprise an unrestricted ending fund balance).
  • raise state spending to an unsustainable level of $34.51 billion, which is a $3.3 billion increase from current appropriations and equates to a 10.4 percent increase from the 2011-13 budget cycle. This is approximately $1.95 billion more than the $32.56 billion the state expects to bring in. It is also spends $75 million more than Gov. Jay Inslee proposed and nearly $1.2 billion more than the bipartisan, no-new-taxes Senate operating budget approved last week.

Governor House Democrats Senate Coalition
Make “temporary” taxes permanent? yes yes no
B&O tax increases yes yes no
McCleary education funding $1.2 billion $1.2 billion (House Republicans: $903 million, but directly to classroom) $1.0 billion
Higher education tuition (four-year) 5% increase 5% increase 3% decrease
Reserves or ending balance $532 million $337 million $611 million
Total budget (not including rainy day fund) $34.4 billion $34.5 billion $33.3 billion
For more on the Senate plan you can click Senate Operating Budget. For more on the governor’s plan you can click Inslee’s Budget and Tax Plan. Finally, click House Democrat Plan for more information on their proposal.

Cary Condotta

Friday, April 5, 2013

Governor's proposes new B&O tax on renters

The ink has hardly dried on Inslee's new gubernatorial stationery and the governor is raising the taxes on the people of Washington State.  Inslee's proposed business and occupancy tax will be billed to landlords, but paid for by renters.

Inslee announced plans to tax residential rentals for 1.8 percent statewide.  You thought your rent was high now?  Under Inslee's plan your rent will go up $18 per $1000 per month.  Seattle rents will go up even more, because Seattle tacks on 0.415% extra -- which means Seattle renters will pay an extra $22 per $1000 per month.

Inslee said the state "must choose education over tax breaks".  This announcement came after the state decided to spend billions on highway projects (HB1864), replacing the Evergreen Point Floating bridge, replacing the bridge over the Columbia at Portland and Vancouver, the Alaska Way viaduct, and spending billions on other highway projects. 

Why do we need to spend so much money on deluxe state highway projects if our education system is in such need?  Inslee's sense of timing is very bad  --  Or else Inslee and his government are trying to fool the people.

Inslee said he only wants to close tax loopholes.  Apparently what he meant is he wants to take more of your money.

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin