I am continually amazed at the creative ways that our state Legislature generates more revenue (taxes). Case in point, I recently received my car license renewal with the following “fees” in dollars:
A $3 filing fee to the county in which the fee is paid – but I plan on filing online, which could be any county or even out-of-state. Which pocket does my money go in now?
A $42 and $30 RTA and license fee – OK, those were initiatives we voted on – a $10 vehicle weight fee for highway improvements, transit and other needs. I don’t remember voting on this one, but isn’t part of the 38 cent per gallon gas tax supposed to to do this? And finally, .75 license service fee to support the computer systems.
What’s next? How about a fee to support the computer operator?
But what I’m really worried about is the state income tax measure, Initiative 1098, taxing the top wage earners. Gee I said to myself, why not? Let’s soak the rich and I certainly will never have to pay anything. This kind of thinking is probably what legislators are hoping everyone is thinking and I 1098 will pass with flying colors. But remember, under the state constitution after two years the Legislature can change a voter-approved initiative with a simple majority vote. This is what they did to Initiative 960, which requires a two-thirds majority for the Legislature to increase taxes. They used a simple majority vote to raise taxes by $800 million (Seattle Times figure). So I would think the first thing legislators will want to do when the 2012 budget crunch comes around will be to lower the wage bracket, which will tax more, and more, and more wage earners ad infinitem, because once they get their foot in the door, the next thiing you know, they will have their hands in your pocket.