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Income tax is

the way to go

In 1968, my family moved from a state that has an income tax (1 percent as I remember) to Washington state, which has none. The reason for Washington not needing this tax was that it relied heavily enough on income from timber industries. Since then, timber monies have diminished to the point that this state is in financial straits and voters have consistently refused to add an income tax on top of everything else.

We constantly hear heavy complaints about property taxes, for example to the degree that people are being taxed out of their homes. I feel that income tax is the best and fairest way for any government to gain operating funds; and since current funds are not adequate to operate appropriately, this state must drop programs and/or transfer monies from sources badly needed for maintaining infrastructure, such as police and fire protection, along with bridge and road maintenance.

My suggestion is to add an income tax commensurate with maintaining necessary services and offset it by eliminating the property tax. One example: If Boeing lays off 10,000 employees, those people no longer have an income and thereby can lose their homes and the state loses taxes from the shopping those people did when they had jobs. Also, the added cost of paying state unemployment compensation becomes a major problem. With no need to pay property taxes, people might finally agree to pay an income tax — which should be about the same or, perhaps, less than what they are now paying without possible loss of their homes. Besides, an income tax, the same rate for all, is certainly more fair than the present unbalanced property tax with all its various loopholes. I see a win-win situation here.

The only possible drawback I can see is that not everybody owns property in the state and would object to the added tax on them. I don’t know what the percentage is of those people as compared with property owners, but I would imagine it to be quite a bit less; however, in their case, possibly some break in existing taxes could be worked out to their benefit.

ROBERT BALCOMB

Silverdale

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