I-1077 is a Distraction and a Waste of Time and Money

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Liberals have put up Initiative 1077 to give us a massive new income tax for individuals earning over $200,000.

It's nominally an obvious attempt at class warfare, to increase the tax burden on "rich" people while slashing it for everyone else, since it also includes a big property tax cut.

But it's worse than that: it's really an attempt to simply distract people from the terrible job the Democrats have done, and from voting for Republicans.

The bill is obviously and blatantly unconstitutional. And due to its specific severability language, if the unconstitutional part is ruled unconstitutional, the whole thing would be thrown out. The proposed law states unqeuivocally that certain income levels are taxed at different rates, which clearly violates the constitutional prohibition on non-uniform taxes upon the same class of property. The state has found consistently for 80 years that income is property. Therefore, you can't do that.

The initiative gives lip service -- but it's nothing more than that -- to the idea that in 1933 the state Supreme Court ruling "ultimately relied on United States supreme court cases that have long since been overruled." The larger case perhaps did, but the part of the case that ruled income as property did not. That was completely specific to our own state Constitutiuon. They go on to say the ruling "treated Washington's graduated income tax, as then drafted, as a nonuniform property tax," as if to imply this tax is different, but it's clearly not: the very fact that it was graduated -- as this proposed tax is -- was the point.

There's really not much more to say here. It's so obviously unconstitutional -- in terms of the stated text of the State Constitution, and longstanding precedent -- there can really be only two reasons to try: to force a court challenge and change precedent, or to distract people from the elections.

It's most likely both. It will almost certainly fail to overturn precedent, though will waste our time and money in the attempt. Whether it succeeds in distracting us is up to us. slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on April 22, 2010 7:55 AM.

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