The issue of regressive taxes is in the news recently and is being raised by both supporters and opponents of Proposition 1.
The Seattle Times, in their April 5 editorial against Proposition 1 mentioned regressive taxes twice. The editorial begins: “VOTERS should weigh the regressive tax request embedded in King County Proposition 1 against history.” Near the end it says, “Nor should a no vote be read in Olympia as a sign the state Legislature does not need to pass a transportation package that includes less regressive transit tax options. It does.”
But would the Seattle Times editorial board support a progressive income tax? Seems very unlikely. They opposed I-1098 (high earners tax) in 2010.
Even the usually conservative Bellevue Reporter, in their editorial in favor of Proposition 1, wrote “And we don’t like any increase in the sales tax because it is regressive and hits the poor more harshly than the rich.” (They went on to explain why, nonetheless, they favor Proposition 1.)
We should build on that momentum and get the issue more into public’s field of vision.
But wait! There’s more.
The conservative Washington Policy Center, in their Citizen’s Guide to Proposition 1, writes, “The proposed tax increases would apply only to regressive forms of taxation, falling hardest on the poor, the disabled, the unemployed and the elderly living on fixed incomes. ” There are several other mentions of regressive nature of the tax. Their final sentence reads: “Given these coming proposals and the sharply regressive burden of the sales tax, voters should carefully consider how Proposition 1’s tax increases and future taxes add up and decide which measures will best serve their financial and transportation needs.”
Both Larry Phillips, in his guest editorial in favor of Proposition and Bill Eager, in his guest editorial against Proposition 1, mention that Proposition 1’s taxes are regressive. (source)
Will Knedlik, Dick Paylor, and Jerry Galland, in their Rebuttal of Statement For that was distributed with the ballot write, “Reject Metro’s regressive tax increases on the poor for the third time in 10 years.”