State income tax means more taxes
September 17, 2010 · Updated 2:21 PM
In response to Jim Bruner’s letter of Sept. 8 I would like to quote Reagan: “Here you go again, Jim.” The last state that introduced a state income tax was Connecticut about 20 years ago. I was there. I owned property in Litchfield County, Conn.
It has been an unmitigated disaster for Connecticut. It was sold by Lowell Weicker, a Republican governor (both parties can make mistakes), using many of the arguments being used in Washington state now. They said it would reduce the state sales tax. In fact, it was reduced from 8 percent to 6 percent but then, what do you know, they increased the base to over 150 items that had never been subjected to a sales tax. They in essence increased the revenue from the sales tax. Property taxes were never reduced. In fact, they have steadily increased in that state.
The result was, that when I moved into Connecticut it was one of the lowest taxed states and in four years it was one of the highest. Economic growth came to a standstill and Connecticut is currently well behind other states in terms of economic growth. About 250,000 people left the state. That includes me!
There is evidence that consumption taxes have fewer adverse economic effects than income and property taxes. Income and property taxes penalize productive activity. Consumption taxes encourage individuals to work harder to overcome that consumption tax burden. Senior citizens would be particularly hard hit by I-1098.
Once a new tax is introduced it will be gradually applied to one and all. And, what do you know, the old taxes will all come back.
The bottom line is that the state income tax has been a disaster for Connecticut as it will be for Washington state if it is enacted.
The Seattle Times, the governor of Washington state and even the Wall Street Journal (Aug. 14, 2010) have come out opposing I-1098. I urge everyone to oppose I-1098. Do not let us allow the introduction of a new tax which will never reduce the other taxes. Legislators do not reduce taxes.
Thomas D. Smith