News Bad News for Local Republicans
posted by May 23 at 12:48 PMon
Dino Rossi and the GOP are supposedly set to run against Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2008 on the theme that local government is too big. You’ve heard it before from the Republicans: We pay way too much in taxes.
Well, the hard data is out and guess what, the Republicans are wrong: Washington state actually ranks 36th among the 50 states in the percentage of personal income spent on state and local taxes. We pay about 10.3 percent of our personal income in taxes on average. The national average is about 11 percent on state and local taxes.
So, why is there so much clamoring among the masses about high taxes? Here’s why: The bottom 5th on the class ladder (the masses) pays about 17 percent of their personal income in taxes according to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The top 1 percent (average income $1.6 million) pays about 3 percent.
This discrepancy is due to our regressive sales and property tax system. Regressive taxes are a Democratic issue, not a GOP issue. And given the explosion in wealth in this region, it sure seems like it’s time to tackle this issue.
By the way, our middle classes pay about 11 percent, the average, in taxes.
Factor all this into the fact that Gov. Gregoire’s $30 billion budget is actually average for Washington state budgets over the last ten years when you account for inflation (about on par with the famous Rossi/Locke budget she inherited.)
The fact is: Gregoireís budget is consistent with every budget going back 10 years. Including the Rossi/Locke budget. Itís about 6.1% of all income earned by Washingtonians, a common way of looking at the size of state government, according to this report by the Washington Budget and Policy Center. The Rossi/Locke budget clocked in at 6%.