A+ A A-

Ballot measures backed by conservatives could give blow to WA budget

  • Written by Eric Tegethoff

Washington News Service: While three initiatives received the go-ahead to appear on Washington's November ballot at the end the legislative session last week, three that have already been approved could also have a big impact on the state.

These measures could have an especially big effect on funding in the state. Executive director of Fuse Washington, Aaron Ostrom, said they also have a few more things in common.

"They're all funded by the same Republican mega donor, Brian Heywood, and all sponsored by the MAGA Republican Party Chair Jim Walsh," said Ostrom. "The second thing about them is that all three are deliberately deceptive and misleading. And then the third thing about these three is they all seek to cut billions of dollars in funding for critical public priorities."

The initiatives would repeal the state's capital gains taxundo the Climate Commitment Act, and would make optional the WA Cares program - which helps people save for long-term care.

Heywood says he's backing these measures because no one in the state is challenging Democrats on taxes and other policies.

Ostrom said the initiative that would repeal the capital gains tax for profits of more than $250,000 - which fewer than 4,000 people paid last year - would leave a big hole in the state's budget, costing nearly $900 million a year.

"Initiative 2109 would repeal the capital gains tax," said Ostrom, "which would take billions of dollars in funding from child care and schools to give a tax cut to Washington's wealthiest."

Supporters of I-2109 say it is essentially an income tax, which is barred in the Washington state constitution. However, the state Supreme Court upheld the tax as constitutional in a ruling last year.

Ostrom said he believes all three initiatives are a threat to the state.

"These three initiatives would devastate funding for our kids and schools," said Ostrom. "They would dismantle our protections against air and water pollution, and they repeal efforts to care for our seniors."

Leave a comment

Comments are welcome as long as they are civil, do not include personal attacks, and pertain to the subject. In order to avoid being overrun by spam, comments are reviewed before they are posted.