In fighting even the suggestion of proposing a conversation about talking about the possibility of suggesting an income tax in Washington State, opponents like to point to the huge economic advantages our current tax structure allegedly gives us. No income tax means more "job creators" will be attracted to our state, we are told, and more job creators means more jobs, higher incomes, and higher economic growth.
Except, that's total bullshit.
According to a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the economies of the nine states without a personal income tax (Washington included) have actually underperformed both the economies of the nine states with the highest income tax rates, and the 41 income tax states as a whole. Over the past decade real per capita GDP growth was only 5.2 percent in the non-income-tax states, compared 8.2 percent in the nine highest taxed states. Real median household income also fell further in the non-income-tax states, while unemployments were largely uniform across all three groups.
Washington actually did better than average on both per capita GDP and median income growth (while slightly worse on unemployment), but given the aggregate performance of the non-income-tax states it is impossible to argue that our lack of an income tax had anything to do with it. Unless you're an idiot. Or a liar.
The point is, there is zero evidence that our highly regressive sales-tax-dependent tax structure gives us any economic advantage whatsoever. So there.