Olympia can breathe a sigh of relief, our friends at the Washington Federation of State Employees have this $2 billion budget deficit thing all figured out. A friend forwarded an email where they outlined a plan that they and a few other groups had come up with. In order to stand with the 99% and stick it to that evil, greedy 1%, they developed a list of 27 tax breaks to get rid of that would raise over $2.3 billion.
Curious, I continued on to the WFSE website for the details. I imagined they would mostly be a collection of corporate tax breaks that were considered fair and reasonable when they were granted by the legislature, but are now clear evidence of nefarious corporate greed.
Surprisingly enough, the largest of the tax breaks was an item from the Economic Opportunity Institute, to raise $800 million by eliminating the “Motor vehicle fuel tax exemption”. In other words, let’s start charging sales tax on your gas purchases! Washington State already charges 37.5 cents a gallon gas tax, the 8th highest in the nation. Eliminating this tax exemption would add (depending on your local sales tax rate and the current gas price) about 30 cents a gallon to the cost of gas, hitting the 99% squarely in the pocketbook. That’ll leave a mark that won’t go way by just blaming the evil gas station owners.
The third largest of the cuts is an idea by Sightline (a progressive green think tank) to get rid of the “trade-ins to car dealerships sales tax exemption”. Currently, if you pay for part of that new car with a trade-in, you don’t have to pay sales tax on that portion. They figure to save $344 million by cutting that tax break for the “BMW set”; it seems to me that a whole lot of the middle class falls into that category.
Just these two tax breaks for add up to almost half of their proposed new revenues. Both of them hit the masses a lot harder than the 1%. They are a little more on target with the other 25 tax breaks, they focus on the bad old corporations that aren’t paying their fair share. Included is a $450 million plan by WFSE to rescind 3% of all corporate tax breaks. These are at least consistent with their effort to demonize the corporations and rich 1%, and make perfect sense as long as they stay in their fairy tale land where the rich corporations begrudgingly pay extra taxes out of their hidden secret stash of cash and never, ever include those extra taxes in the cost of the goods they produce and sell.
photo credit: DJOtaku]