Letters to the Editor

Letters from Jan. 11

SOUND OFF

It’s time for a state income tax

In 1968 we moved from a state that has an income tax to this state, which has none. The reason for not needing this tax was that the state relied heavily enough on the income from the timber industries. Since then, the timber monies have diminished to the point that the state is in financial straits, and the voters refuse 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 the homes they have lived in for many years.

I feel that income tax is the best and fairest way for a government to gain operating funds; and since the current funds in this state are not adequate for it to operate appropriately, it must transfer monies from sources badly needed for maintaining infrastructure, police and fire protection, and schools, to name a few.

My suggestion is to add an income tax commensurate with maintaining necessary services and offset it by eliminating property taxes. The way it is now, if Boeing lays off 10,000 employees, for example, 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. Without the 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 its various loopholes.

Another move for the state is to give businesses substantial tax breaks. For example, a few years ago Boeing moved part of its administration facilities out of the state because of quarrels about its tax burden — I have no doubt that with an amicable tax structure Boeing would not have needed that move. The more companies that do business here, more people would be employed to pay their way to the state with their income taxes, along with supporting local businesses.

I see a win-win situation here.

ROBERT BALCOMB

Silverdale

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