“When Bill Gates Sr. last proposed a Washington state income tax in 2002, he was chair of the Washington State Tax Structure Committee that was created by the Legislature,”
He writes the new income-tax proposal by Mr. Gates won’t work either. At first glance, the idea looks like it might work, he says.
“But the state’s unemployment rate is 9.5 percent,” he writes. “An income tax would discourage investment in the creation of jobs, and it emboldens more bad behavior by spend-and-tax legislators.
“Already, Washington ranks among the worst states in sales and business taxes,” he adds. “Consider states like California and New York with their high sales and business taxes. They also have an income tax, and they’re nearly bankrupt.”
The Biz Coach further explains why the income-tax proposal would hurt Washington’s economic environment and he cites several events in the Legislature’
“After waiting out the two-year time limit to for overturning initiatives in 2010, Washington lawmakers jumped at their chance to suspend the transparency provisions of the Taxpayer Protection Act, Initiative 960,” he recalls. “Never were there serious discussions about reducing the footprint of government or even prioritizing the core services of government in the $2.8 billion shortfall. We are still saddled with unnecessary, expensive services including state retail liquor stores, the state printer, and the associated employee payroll and unfunded state-worker pensions.
“Then, the legislators passed more than $808 million in new taxes in their unsustainable budget. They relied heavily on federal government funds to balance the budget, and it’s already well-known that the next biennium budget also faces billions in red ink.”
He also recalls a recent court case in which state officials were caught in a $250-million shell game in violation of the state’s voter-approved spending limit .
“In 2006, state officials were proven guilty in Superior Court – their secretive, incriminating government e-mails were part of a shell game that circumvented spending limits,” he writes. “They included state officials and employees – including members of the Legislature, Office of Financial Management, Expenditure Limit Committee, the governor, and even the attorney general appeared to oppose the will of voters on state spending.”
In Washington, taxes never go away, he writes. “The state’s onerous business and occupation tax was sold as a temporary tax in the 1930s, and it’s been unfair ever since for two reasons – it’s based on gross revenue not profit, and is a catalyst in why Washington is a leader in startup failures.”
"Businesses need a sense of security, and another tax will inhibit it," he explains.
He provides a link to the incriminating e-mails, and he cites other reasons why the income-tax proposal would stymie job-creation efforts in “Why Proposed Washington Income Tax Will Kill Jobs,” at http://www.bizcoachinfo.com.
Mr. Corbell’s expertise is why the New York Times featured him twice. First, columnist Brent Bowers profiled him ("Been There... Done That... Here's How - New York Times"). Mr. Bowers also asked him to take questions from the newspaper’s readers. It resulted in an avalanche of readers seeking Mr. Corbell’s business counsel ("Advice on Taking an Entrepreneurial Leap - New York Times").
In addition to his Web site, The Biz Coach is also published on the Money News page at Seattle's CBS-TV affiliate, KIRO. KIRO is the "2009 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winner for Overall Excellence."
Mr. Corbell has written more than 500 business-coaching columns since 2001 for several media Web sites.
Mr. Corbell has provided confidential business solutions and best-management practices for Seattle-area companies ranging from high-tech to professional service firms, and for the public sector since 1992.
As managing member of CMS Associates LLC, http://www.cmsassociatesllc.com, he is developer of The CMS Approach – strategic proprietary systems and best-practices management.
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Biz Coach Terry Corbell is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. As a longtime media columnist, he publishes performance-