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mjarrett t1_jdkczvo wrote


Due to a quirk of Washington's constitution, we can't charge income tax. So we tax in a bunch of other ways that mostly punishes poor people, while constantly getting in trouble for not paying for our schools.

Some clever politicians found a way to tax rich people on their stonks, by not calling it an income tax. This argument is mostly gibberish, but because believing it means taxing a bunch of local tech executives, people are playing along

The state supreme court, being people, also agreed. Now the State can start sending out bills to about 7000 rich people.



etcpt t1_jdkjv3v wrote

>Due to a quirk of Washington's constitution, we can't charge income tax.

More precisely, there is case law from 1933 (Culliton v. Chase) in which the State Supreme Court held that income is property and thus can only be taxed at a flat 1%. There is an argument that the court got it wrong in Culliton by misunderstanding the prior holding in Aberdeen Savings & Loan Assoc. v. Chase from 1930, as laid out here. If that argument holds water, legislative or initiative action to instate an income tax may prevail.


OdieHush t1_jdl7tq5 wrote

Can’t wait for the initiative to fail spectacularly and then for the legislature to pass it anyway.


FireAntHoneyBadger t1_jdnu5bo wrote

>Due to a quirk of Washington's constitution

It's not a quirk. It's an intentional part of the constitution.


nanobitegamer t1_je2h6f1 wrote

So it's a very good thing then? I could've sworn I saw a good amount of people complaining about this like it's bad


mjarrett t1_je2whn2 wrote

There's room for rational debate on either side, but I think the evidence points pretty broadly to this being good so far.

I've generally seen two complaints:

a) Taxing the rich is bad. If we leave the rich all of their money, they will use it to generate a better economy for everyone. If we tax the rich, they'll move themselves and/or their money away.

Trickle-down economics is pretty much bull****. The fraction of the profits going into the working class jobs versus into billionaires' literal rocket ships are exceedingly small and shrinking. The threats of capitalists leaving Washington are real, but widely overblown.

b) A $250,000 threshold this year will become $2500 next year, and next we basically have State income taxes like all those other shmucks.

Given the assumption that income taxes (favor the poor) are better than sales taxes (favor the rich), I'd rather tax money come from income taxes. But the risk comes down to the government saying "Why not do both?", and wasting the money on stupid stuff. It's Washington, so it could happen.