Senator Rosa Franklin (D-Tacoma), penned an editorial in the Kitsap Sun explaining why we need to enact an income tax. I am philosophically opposed to an income tax, but don't disagree that major tax reform is needed in this state.
That said, the state doesn't have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. Even in this dismal economy, the state will take in substantially more in this biennium than it did in the last one. The problem is, it is still spending more than it's taking in.
Let's try trimming the taxes and onerous regulations that impede the ability of businesses to be successful and create private sector jobs — which would also mean trimming some of those almost 20,000 new state employees that have been hired in the Locke and Gregoire administrations. This alone would have a major positive impact on the budget. The problem is, so many of our legislators — not to mention the governor — are held hostage by the campaign contributions they've accepted from the powerful state employee unions.
The bottom line is legislators have flaunted the will of the people for so long, so many times, over so many issues, that voters simply have no trust in their ability to do what's right for the majority of the people — not just the special interests that bankroll their re-election.
If people trusted the legislature to not come back and break its promises to not raise taxes it would either eliminate or reduce if an income tax were enacted, this might gain some tracton with voters. The problem is, they have proven over and over that we can't, and voters are unwilling to take a chance the legislature will make their individual situations worse, not better. Based on their track record, can you blame them?