The governor’s budget proposal for 2018 breaks with tradition — for the first time since taking office, Inslee has failed to propose an income tax. For those who follow the utterances of political leaders, the situation may be confusing. Inslee has said he opposes an income tax. Yet he has repeatedly proposed an income tax on capital gains, as if the two can be distinguished. Every budget proposal since 2014 has included one — until now. The latest proposal is balanced instead with a proposed tax on energy usage, another Inslee favorite, possibly signaling that the income tax debate in the Legislature will be deferred until 2019. In these stories, Jim Camden of the Spokesman-Review describes the “guessing game” that accompanies the release of the governor’s budget. And in an op-ed published in the Tri-City Herald, Jason Mercier addresses the claim that a capital gains income tax, which is really an income tax with a narrow base, ought to be seen as something other than an income tax.
The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 17, 2017 (Jim Camden column): Budget guessing game: Where will the money come from?
Tri-City Herald, Dec. 23, 2017 (Jason Mercier op-ed): Yes Virginia, a capital gains tax is an income tax