Gates and Ballmer on opposite sides of Washington State ‘tax-the-rich’ ballot measure

“The fight over what would be Washington’s first state income tax since 1933 is shaping up as a battle of the titans: Both [Bill Gates’ 84-year-old father, William Gates Sr.], a prominent retired lawyer and philanthropist, and his son, the richest man in America, are backing I-1098. But three of the state’s other biggest businessmen,€” current Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and John Nordstrom of the Seattle-based retail chain — are throwing big money into the campaign to defeat it,” Kim Murphy reports for The Los Angeles Times. “Washington voters are being asked to endorse a tax philosophy that is in many ways similar to President Obama’s approach to shrinking the federal deficit: Keep the tax burden off low- and middle-income families while raising taxes on the wealthy.”

Murphy reports, “The ballot measure would raise about $2 billion a year for education and healthcare by taxing gross income above $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for couples, while trimming other taxes for small businesses and property owners… But Washington, one of only seven states with no income tax, has made its tax-free status an important selling point in attracting new business.”

“Opponents warn that new taxes on well-off entrepreneurs would make it harder to recruit talented employees and would eat into business owners’ ability to reinvest, raise wages and create new jobs,” Murphy reports. “‘As a former Microsoft employee, I absolutely know it would damage Microsoft’s ability to compete. Part of their ability to attract talent from all over the world is because there’s no state income tax here,’ said Scott Stanzel, a former deputy White House press secretary under President George W. Bush and a public relations manager for the software company who now is running the campaign to defeat I-1098.”

Murphy reports, “Opponents fear that the proposed tax -€” 5% on income above $200,000, 9% above $500,000 -€” could plunge Washington into the same economic traumas being experienced in states like California. ‘Don’t Calitaxicate Washington,’ the Seattle Times urged in an editorial opposing the measure, which polls show is a tossup. They also warn it may not be a tax only on the rich for long. The initiative allows the Legislature to change its terms two years after passage. ‘What is billed as a high-earners tax is simply a backdoor way of extending an income tax to all Washingtonians in the future,’ Stanzel said.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

210 Comments

  1. Tax consumption instead. Wealthy people will then automatically put more money into the government coffers, because they almost always want bigger houses, cars, boats, etc.

    It would also encourage people to save money instead of spending it.

  2. Tax consumption instead. Wealthy people will then automatically put more money into the government coffers, because they almost always want bigger houses, cars, boats, etc.

    It would also encourage people to save money instead of spending it.

  3. These people who make over 200k, and against this, are just greedy. they know damn well they can afford and they wont miss any luxuries. The really rich people make so much money in interest off their investments , paying a state tax should be no problem. If this bill gives some relief to the working class, then the rich should show some class by being in favor of it

  4. These people who make over 200k, and against this, are just greedy. they know damn well they can afford and they wont miss any luxuries. The really rich people make so much money in interest off their investments , paying a state tax should be no problem. If this bill gives some relief to the working class, then the rich should show some class by being in favor of it

  5. Gates is wrong as usual. It’s likely just dumb luck that Ballmer landed on the right side.

    The. Problem. Is. The. Overspending. Dummies.

    “A retired teacher paid $62,000 towards her pension and nothing, yes nothing, for full family medical, dental and vision coverage over her entire career. What will we pay her? $1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care benefit premiums over her lifetime. ” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    “And I just think that we’re at a point in our economic life here in our state – and – and, candidly, across the country, where increased taxes is just the wrong way to go. The people of our state are not convinced that state government, county government, local government has done all they can with the money we already give them, rather than the money that we have before.” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    “Higher taxes is the road to ruin. We must and we will shrink our government, and that means making some tough choices, tightening our belts.” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    “Our state is in crisis. Our people are hurting. Now is the time when we all must resist the traditional, selfish call to protect your own turf at the cost of our state. It is time to leave the corner, join the sacrifice, come to the center of the room and be part of the solution.” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    Chris Christie for U.S. President!

  6. Gates is wrong as usual. It’s likely just dumb luck that Ballmer landed on the right side.

    The. Problem. Is. The. Overspending. Dummies.

    “A retired teacher paid $62,000 towards her pension and nothing, yes nothing, for full family medical, dental and vision coverage over her entire career. What will we pay her? $1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care benefit premiums over her lifetime. ” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    “And I just think that we’re at a point in our economic life here in our state – and – and, candidly, across the country, where increased taxes is just the wrong way to go. The people of our state are not convinced that state government, county government, local government has done all they can with the money we already give them, rather than the money that we have before.” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    “Higher taxes is the road to ruin. We must and we will shrink our government, and that means making some tough choices, tightening our belts.” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    “Our state is in crisis. Our people are hurting. Now is the time when we all must resist the traditional, selfish call to protect your own turf at the cost of our state. It is time to leave the corner, join the sacrifice, come to the center of the room and be part of the solution.” – Chris Christie, NJ Gov.

    Chris Christie for U.S. President!

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