In the Op-Ed “A tax system badly out of balance” by Dick Conway [Aug. 30, Opinion], the words “personal income tax” did not appear until the very end.
I wish they had been blazed in the headline! The state of Washington has not fulfilled its funding responsibilities in many areas for a long time: education; justice issues resulting from embedded racism; mental-health care; homelessness; and the sudden need now of support by many business sectors due to COVID-19.
The four most used tax bases are individual income tax, corporate income tax, sales tax and property tax. Washington, with no personal income tax, is one of the five highest sales-tax states. Sales taxes are basically unfair. People with the least money pay the most as a proportion of their income.
With an income tax, the rate of the tax increases as the amount of income to be taxed increases, so people with higher income pay at a higher rate than people with lower income. Many states with a personal income tax thrive better and more fairly than those without.
Surely it’s past time for Washington to consider a strategic change in tax structure.
Margaret Ellsworth, Redmond