Tim Eyman on The SALES Tax


Washington Legislature News
by Tim Eyman, Sound Politics

On Monday, Governor Gregoire said: “I am being honest with people of the state of Washington. I am not misleading, misinforming, distorting or anything. I have tried to be as transparent as I possibly can.”

Methinks she doth protest too much. How can you tell when Gregoire is lying? When she’s talking about taxes.

In 2004, candidate Gregoire promised not to raise taxes. Within months of being selected Governor, she broke that promise and raised a bunch of taxes. Voters responded in 2007 by passing our initiative — I-960 — to make it tougher to raise taxes by requiring 2/3 legislative approval or voter approval. In 2008, Gregoire promised, if re-elected, not to raise taxes. I-960’s approval by voters made her keep her promise for 2 years. But in 2010 after I-960’s 2-year anniversary, Gregoire again broke her promise and suspended I-960’s 2/3 and unilaterally increased a slew of tax increases. How much? Because of Gregoire’s 2010 tax hikes, taxpayers will be forced to pay $6.7 billion in higher taxes over the next 10 years.

Nonetheless, Gregoire claimed on Monday that state government hasn’t imposed a big tax increase since 1983 and so she’s proposing taking the sales tax to 10% “temporarily” to pay for “education, health care, and public safety.”

Right outta the gate, she’s telling two lies.

It’s a joke to believe Gregoire’s sales tax increase will be temporary. No matter what happens to the state’s economy, whether it gets better or gets worse, they’ll find a way to unilaterally extend it. Government doesn’t do temporary tax increases.

And naming certain programs that’ll receive the money is a marketing tool — it’s not real. All money is fungible in Olympia — they regularly raid dedicated accounts and shift money around. There are no protections that can survive the Legislature’s creativity. They are masters of bait-and-switch budget games.

Voters need to know that Gregoire is proposing a permanent 10% sales tax that’ll never go away for money the Legislature will spend any way it wants. Over the next 10 years, that’s a $5 billion blank check.

We cannot tax our way to prosperity, we cannot spend our way to prosperity, we cannot borrow our way to prosperity. The only way government revenues are going to increase is when the economy starts growing again. And that isn’t going to happen with more taxes, more spending, and more borrowing.

Your Comment