Letters to the Editor

Income tax will turn things around

It appears that Island County’s state legislators are not going to change soon, and tax-cut ideologues are gaining power in the county government.

Good luck with further tax cuts. Those who have been paying attention know that county tax revenues fell 5.7 percent last year, while population and demand for services steadily increase. And the Proposition 1 levy lift appears doomed.

Property taxes, already among the lowest in the state, won’t change much, even with a new tax assessor, county clerk and commissioner.

Let’s face reality. Our state and county need a new source of revenue, and I-1098 is the only idea on the horizon. I-1098’s income tax would impact few Washingtonians (household income over $400,000) who live outside of King County and would help other counties, including ours (mean household income $56,370).

I-1098 would also:

Cut every homeowner’s state school property tax by 20 percent. (Mine would go down $208, based on the latest tax bill.)

Cut B&O taxes by as much as $4,800, exempting 80 percent of all businesses in the state. Chambers of commerce, please take note. Your members can’t compete with the Navy Exchange and commissary now. Cutting the B&O tax would help. If your state legislators will continue to replace the other taxes that hurt competitiveness, your members will benefit considerably.

Increase funding for education and health services more than $2 billion annually.

Please learn about this vital initiative and vote sensibly in November. We can turn things around.

Jim Bruner

Oak Harbor

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