This should be titled repealing the capitol gains tax via referendum is a long shot (although I don't really agree with that). Even if true however it doesn't change the fact the capital gains tax is an unconstitutional income tax. In every state that has a capital gains tax it is an income tax including on your federal return. Of course the sponsors of this know that but pushed it through anyway because they are hoping the SC will take this on and rule that income is not property and open the door for a statewide progressive income tax. That was the true motive behind this much like Seattle's ill fated income tax. That may happen but if it does you'll see a large swell of support for a referendum as most taxpayers don't trust the WA legislature to actually make this revenue neutral and apply it to only the "rich".

If the legislature wanted to do this right they would pass a constitutional amendment, which they fully have the power and numbers to do and create a progressive income tax. Instead they rely on the courts to do their dirty work because they know how unpopular this is and they are too chicken shit to go on record voting for it.


Yeah, an initial uninformed 49% doesn’t mean pick up your ball and go home. Where does this go with messaging? And who moves? And how much money can you put in for communications.

If I saw an uninformed 49% but saw movement I’d be drafting up a campaign email to donors telling them there’s a path but we need their money.


Preach it Bryan. Well said.


I support this tax and frankly, we need a state income tax full stop. However, to say that not implementing a tax on capital gains that no one has paid yet in a state that has no income tax is a "tax break" for the rich is a little disingenuous.


I guess stating capital gains tax is not an unconstitutional income tax is buying into the rationale the feds use in taxing cap gains at a different rate from income. A wealth tax would be farther away from income.


This piece of slog is just riddled with inaccuracies, self serving nonsense and frankly errors in both logic and economics.

Has the far left and this author descended into the dreadful Trumpian netherworld of using disinformation, lies and yes, I must use the term "FAKE NEWS" out to sway the poorly informed.

God what a hot mess this slog is.... naïve, argumentative without facts, conclusory and simply misinformed about a great many things. Almost like something a 9th grader would present as a class report.


@1 is wrong.

It's a totally proper tax and they know it.

By the way, if you're paying the tax, you're not maxing out your retirement benefits and using tricks like Amazon Bezos uses to avoid tax such as having a small salary and putting options you "mark" at a low price in your retirement accounts and trusts.

You really should pony up for better tax lawyers and tax accountants. They work (legally) wonders.


The wishful thinking of proponents is that capital gains is not income, and that they somehow as a result escape the current state constitution/laws on what may be taxed in Washington. Here is a bit of an update on the recent court arguments:

And here is the plaintiff's brief in support of overturning on summary judgment:


The people have spoken on the matter multiple times. The people are free to amend our constitution but have failed to date. The matter presently appears to revolve around whether Capital Gains are or are not income and how the IRS regards it. This seems fairly obvious and common sense regardless of one's politics. As a non-lawyer, the brief is not all that hard to read, as is the state's response, which can be The judge will rule on the summary judgment motion within days it appears, and without doubt, the losing side will escalate it to the Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court.

As to the oft claim of low income folks paying 17% of their income in local taxes, this has always strained credulity. Food is not taxed, drugs are not taxed, and property taxes as a component of rent do not approach such a number. Likely the progressive group that came up with those numbers decided to ignore transfer payments that low income people receive, including food stamps, rent subsidies, transportation discounts and other sources of funds. I would love to see the raw data that they used. The fact remains that the state budget is flush it appears, and that the lion's share of the funds come from sales taxes on goods, that are paid proportionate to consumption of non-food, from Business related B & O taxes, gas taxes and property taxes. Those who consume more, pay more. Those on the lower end of the income scales pay little to zero Federal taxes, far lower state taxes, and receive many transfer payments funded by those who do pay taxes. This is as it should be but just saying.

I would love to hear the quality of life case for income tax and how places like California, New York, Oregon and other states where income taxes can hit an additional 10%, leads to a more just, equitable and prosperous society and the poor are in better shape.

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