In an effort to close the shortfall, Governor Christine Gregoire has called for additional taxes and fee increases. In what will probably be the most hotly debated increase is her proposal to temporarily increase the state sales tax by 1/2 percent, increasing the baseline sales tax to 7%. If the voters approve of this increase, Washington State would only trail California as the highest sales tax rate in the nation.
A couple of issues must be addressed before I could even begin to consider this tax increase. The biggest concern that I have is would this actually be a temporary increase, or would the politicians, who are mostly tax and spend democrats, attempt to keep this increase? I certainly would not hold my breath or trust the words of a politician. There must be some language written into the bill that would give us an iron-clad promise this increase would only be for the stated number of years (currently proposed for three years). Even if the economy continues to tank in three years (a distinct possibility if Obama gets reelected) the increase must go away AND only through voter approval could it continue.
The other concern I have is how the money would be spent. Would this increase just give the democrat-control legislature a license to spend? Or could it be directed at only those areas mostly in need? I am not sure if there are any sort of safeguards that could be put into place that would prevent the corruptocrats in Olympia from not being wise with our money. They certainly haven’t been able to do so thus far. I foresee these bungles of our money following the letter of the law: the increased revenue from the tax increase going towards what is required by the law. But I also see general funding being redirected towards pet projects and vote-buying schemes. Then we’ll be back at square one, but only with an increase in our sales tax to show for our troubles.
One thing to note here: If approved, folks living in certain sections of Seattle would see their sales tax increase to a full 10%