Let’s put to rest the old argument that the state sales tax is regressive and hurts the poor. That predates stores like Wal-Mart and the removal of the sales tax from food. Relief from property taxes is what families and seniors need.
So legislators, how about raising the state sales tax by two cents? Each new penny will yield a billion dollars per fiscal year. There will be lots of new money for K-12 schools, mental health, children and the elderly – just to name a few. And it’s new money, not a tax shift.
Two cents will get us out of the McCleary mess we’re in now and move us forward on solid ground. The governor and legislators then can stop raiding so-called “non-essential” programs like state parks and stop looking for something new to tax for nickel and dime revenue.
Plus, people can control how much sales tax they pay through their spending habits, and they can deduct what they do pay from their federal income tax.
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Is there two cents worth of courage in Olympia?