The Washington State Straitjacket Tightens Jan. 1

 

Many new laws will take effect in Washington State on January 1. All of them restrict the liberty of individuals and businesses in our state.

  1.  The first Income Tax (unconstitutional) will take effect, in the form of a “capital gains tax” on gains over $250,000.  The new law is in litigation now, but the state will implement it anyway.  The State Constitution prohibits any tax on income that is not equally imposed on every taxpayer.  Since the new tax only applies on capital gains over $250,000, it manifestly does not apply to every state taxpayer.  The Seattle Leftists who passed the tax are relying on the Seattle Supreme Court to deem it constitutional.“It’s estimated that the tax will bring in over $400 million in its first year. Those dollars will be used to invest in child care and early learning, among other things, as a way to balance the state’s tax code. That’s according to supporters, who insist it will impact less than 1% of the state’s wealthiest taxpayers.” (quote from article on MyNorthwest.com)
  2. The State minimum wage increases to $14.49 per hour.  The Seattle minimum wage will increase to $17.27 per hour for large companies.  For small companies, the minimum wage increases to $15.75 per hour.  How many small businesses will close because they cannot afford to pay that kind of minimum wage for work that is not worth that much?
  3. Felons released from prison will immediately regain voting rights, regardless of whether they have paid all the restitution they are liable for.
  4. Businesses will no longer be able to automatically include single-use plastic utensils with carry-out orders-the customer will be required to ask for them.  I expect numerous customers will be very surprised when their orders have no utensils, and they have already driven away from the drive-through window.  The State plastic-bag ban took effect in October.

And then, there’s the story about the Polar Bear Swim in Lake Washington on January 1.  The organizers have issued new rules, requiring swimmers to be fully vaccinated against the CCP Virus, have taken a booster shot, and wear a mask.  Yes, that includes wearing a mask in the water, which is expected to be around 43 degrees.  Madness, sheer madness.

Published in Domestic Policy
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 32 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    RushBabe49: Businesses will no longer be able to automatically include single-use plastic utensils with carry-out orders-the customer will be required to ask for them.  I expect numerous customers will be very surprised when their orders have no utensils, and they have already driven away from the drive-through window.

    What’s the matter, RushBabe?  You’re too fancy to eat mashed potatoes and gravy with your fingers?

    RushBabe49: “It’s estimated that the tax will bring in over $400 million in its first year. Those dollars will be used to invest in child care and early learning, among other things, as a way to balance the state’s tax code. That’s according to supporters, who insist it will impact less than 1% of the state’s wealthiest taxpayers.”

    If there were any other type of law that only targeted 1% of the non-criminal population, I should hope that most Americans would agree that the law is unfair.  But if we’re sticking it to the wealthiest 1%, somehow that’s wonderful.

    RushBabe49: The State minimum wage increases to $14.49 per hour.  The Seattle minimum wage will increase to $17.27 per hour for large companies.  For small companies, the minimum wage increases to $15.75 per hour.  How many small businesses will close because they cannot afford to pay that kind of minimum wage for work that is not worth that much?

    Plenty, I assume.  And how many Seattle businesses will relocate to just outside of town?

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    RushBabe49:

    • How many small businesses will close because they cannot afford to pay that kind of minimum wage for work that is not worth that much?

    All of them, or rather all the ones that can’t pass the expense to their customer base.

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    When the city of Seattle passed a tax on soft drinks I believe that a large number of residents did their grocery shopping outside the city limits of Seattle.

    Seattle has a “seedy” problem. You should visit the Pike Place Market once, and once is almost one time to many. Downtown Seattle has always been a bit run-down. Portland in its never-ending competition with Seattle is doing its best to rival their northern neighbor.

    • #3
  4. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    “And then, there’s the story about the Polar Bear Swim in Lake Washington on January 1.  The organizers have issued new rules, requiring swimmers to be fully-vaccinated against the CCP Virus, have taken a booster shot, and wear a mask.  Yes, that’s wear a mask in the water, which is expected to be around 43 degrees.  Madness, sheer madness.”

    The best part!

    I recommend that when the weather warms up the Washington state legislators consider the rodeo sports.  Will bull riding require a mask? Or will it be exempted as long as the bulls are far enough apart?

    Seriously, this is what happens when people on the public payroll have nothing important on which to spend their time.

    • #4
  5. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    The people of Seattle get what they vote for. They are insane. Anyone who remains in the State of Washington deserves either our sympathy if they can’t leave or our disdain if they actually want to stay. 

    OK, so maybe I am painting with too broad a brush. But unfortunately, the government is elected by the serfs over which it rules.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Glad I am in Ga

    • #6
  7. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    But hey, at least there are squash courts!

    • #7
  8. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    kedavis (View Comment):

    But hey, at least there are squash courts!

    Probably controlled by some communist homeless agitators.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    cdor (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    But hey, at least there are squash courts!

    Probably controlled by some communist homeless agitators.

    It doesn’t seem to matter.

    • #9
  10. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    “It’s estimated that the tax will bring in over $400 million in its first year. 

    I would really love to know on what they based that number. No doubt that there are a lot of very wealthy people in Seattle and the surrounding suburbs, but if they are smart enough to make the kind of money it takes to have enough money to invest to make those kinds of capital gains, they are smart enough to find ways to evade paying taxes on their gains. If they are including the sale of homes in that “capital gains”, they are going to impact a lot of people who have seen some pretty incredible growth in the assessed value of their homes. 

    • #10
  11. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    “It’s estimated that the tax will bring in over $400 million in its first year.

    I would really love to know on what they based that number. No doubt that there are a lot of very wealthy people in Seattle and the surrounding suburbs, but if they are smart enough to make the kind of money it takes to have enough money to invest to make those kinds of capital gains, they are smart enough to find ways to evade paying taxes on their gains. If they are including the sale of homes in that “capital gains”, they are going to impact a lot of people who have seen some pretty incredible growth in the assessed value of their homes.

    In that case, it sounds like a tax intended to keep people from escaping.

    • #11
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    It gets worse:

    https://thepostmillennial.com/washington-state-democrats-propose-bill-to-lessen-sentences-for-drive-by-shootings?utm_campaign=64487

    As for taxes, our local rep mentions how South Carolina income taxes are too high (7%), especially when compared with North Carolina (3.99%):

    https://taylorschouse.com/newsletter/whats-ahead-in-2022/

    He’s going to try to herd cats get our Republicans to get off their butts and lower taxes.  Imagine that.  Unfortunately, a lot of our Republican reps and senators are almost as bad as some national ones when it comes to getting organized to do the right thing.  Still, they are talking about lowering taxes to lure businesses and people into our state.  Other states are assisting us by enacting policies to drive their businesses and citizens out . . .

    • #12
  13. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stad (View Comment):

    It gets worse:

    https://thepostmillennial.com/washington-state-democrats-propose-bill-to-lessen-sentences-for-drive-by-shootings?utm_campaign=64487

    As for taxes, our local rep mentions how South Carolina income taxes are too high (7%), especially when compared with North Carolina (3.99%):

    https://taylorschouse.com/newsletter/whats-ahead-in-2022/

    He’s going to try to herd cats get our Republicans to get off their butts and lower taxes. Imagine that. Unfortunately, a lot of our Republican reps and senators are almost as bad as some national ones when it comes to getting organized to do the right thing. Still, they are talking about lowering taxes to lure businesses and people into our state. Other states are assisting us by enacting policies to drive their businesses and citizens out . . .

    More of this…

     

    • #13
  14. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    As to the capital gains tax (apart from the question of constitutionality):

    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses like subsidies for child care and early learning, especially if you support the ongoing expenses. Capital gains are highly variable and unpredictable year-to-year, so tax revenue based on them are highly variable (a few decisions by a relatively small number of people can cause significant amounts of capital gains to be realized or not). Yet presumably the “child care and early learning” the state wants to finance with this tax is likely to be predictable and is expected to continue year-to-year. Rational planners do not finance predictable on-going expenses with volatile unpredictable sources of revenue. 

    As to impacting only 1% of taxpayers, a capital gains tax can impact in a given year a lot of people who in most years have quite modest incomes – the owner of a small business who sells his business in order to retire, the employee of a startup company who has received stock options in lieu of more salary who accumulates those options and exercises them at once, possibly on the occasion of the stock first becoming publicly trade-able, or any of several other scenarios. So the impacted “1%” may include a lot of people not readily recognizable as the “super wealthy.” 

    • #14
  15. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    As to impacting only 1% of taxpayers, a capital gains tax can impact in a given year a lot of people who in most years have quite modest incomes – the owner of a small business who sells his business in order to retire, the employee of a startup company who has received stock options in lieu of more salary who accumulates those options and exercises them at once, possibly on the occasion of the stock first becoming publicly trade-able, or any of several other scenarios. So the impacted “1%” may include a lot of people not readily recognizable as the “super wealthy.” 

    I suspect this part may be intentional, and their response can be “oopsie!”

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses

    True.  If you don’t realize the gain (by selling something), then they don’t collect the tax.  This is why they’re looking at taxing unrealized gains, which is criminal if you ask me . . .

    • #16
  17. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stad (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses

    True. If you don’t realize the gain (by selling something), then they don’t collect the tax. This is why they’re looking at taxing unrealized gains, which is criminal if you ask me . . .

    And THEY get to decide how much you “gained,” not the market.

    • #17
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Stad (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses

    True. If you don’t realize the gain (by selling something), then they don’t collect the tax. This is why they’re looking at taxing unrealized gains, which is criminal if you ask me . . .

    Even unrealized gains will be volatile.  The market does go down from time to time.

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    It gets worse:

    https://thepostmillennial.com/washington-state-democrats-propose-bill-to-lessen-sentences-for-drive-by-shootings?utm_campaign=64487

    As for taxes, our local rep mentions how South Carolina income taxes are too high (7%), especially when compared with North Carolina (3.99%):

    https://taylorschouse.com/newsletter/whats-ahead-in-2022/

    He’s going to try to herd cats get our Republicans to get off their butts and lower taxes. Imagine that. Unfortunately, a lot of our Republican reps and senators are almost as bad as some national ones when it comes to getting organized to do the right thing. Still, they are talking about lowering taxes to lure businesses and people into our state. Other states are assisting us by enacting policies to drive their businesses and citizens out . . .

    More of this…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    That is brilliant!

    • #19
  20. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses

    True. If you don’t realize the gain (by selling something), then they don’t collect the tax. This is why they’re looking at taxing unrealized gains, which is criminal if you ask me . . .

    And THEY get to decide how much you “gained,” not the market.

    It’s like property tax, which I also hate with a passion.  Why should I pay for something I already own?

    • #20
  21. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stad (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses

    True. If you don’t realize the gain (by selling something), then they don’t collect the tax. This is why they’re looking at taxing unrealized gains, which is criminal if you ask me . . .

    And THEY get to decide how much you “gained,” not the market.

    It’s like property tax, which I also hate with a passion. Why should I pay for something I already own?

    Would you be happier if they were just called “city taxes” or whatever, for police, fire protection, etc?  Or maybe cities should have toll booths at each entry, where you pay for police, fire protection, etc, on the way in?  Would you give people refunds for leaving the city without needing police, fire protection, etc?  Seems like that might double the number of booths, since you’ll need toll booths and refund booths…

    I suppose it might be workable to opt out of such taxes, but then if you get burglarized or something the police don’t come, and if your house catches fire, oh well…  But if the fire spreads you pay for damages…

    I think states without income taxes make a lot more sense than states without property taxes.

    • #21
  22. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    As to the capital gains tax (apart from the question of constitutionality):

    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses like subsidies for child care and early learning, especially if you support the ongoing expenses. Capital gains are highly variable and unpredictable year-to-year, so tax revenue based on them are highly variable (a few decisions by a relatively small number of people can cause significant amounts of capital gains to be realized or not). Yet presumably the “child care and early learning” the state wants to finance with this tax is likely to be predictable and is expected to continue year-to-year. Rational planners do not finance predictable on-going expenses with volatile unpredictable sources of revenue.

    As to impacting only 1% of taxpayers, a capital gains tax can impact in a given year a lot of people who in most years have quite modest incomes – the owner of a small business who sells his business in order to retire, the employee of a startup company who has received stock options in lieu of more salary who accumulates those options and exercises them at once, possibly on the occasion of the stock first becoming publicly trade-able, or any of several other scenarios. So the impacted “1%” may include a lot of people not readily recognizable as the “super wealthy.”

    How about someone who owns a rental property that after 30 years or so has grown in value to the point that it is a major part of ones retirement savings. It doesn’t make you a one percenter…it just makes you a societal contributor rather than a needy taker. That’s the person that gets punished by the socialists. Right until there aren’t any givers left, only takers, and then there is collapse.

    • #22
  23. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Stad (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses

    True. If you don’t realize the gain (by selling something), then they don’t collect the tax. This is why they’re looking at taxing unrealized gains, which is criminal if you ask me . . .

    Correct because unrealized means you don’t have them. That’s not a tax, it’s confiscation/theft.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    cdor (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    As to the capital gains tax (apart from the question of constitutionality):

    A capital gains tax is a terrible way to finance ongoing expenses like subsidies for child care and early learning, especially if you support the ongoing expenses. Capital gains are highly variable and unpredictable year-to-year, so tax revenue based on them are highly variable (a few decisions by a relatively small number of people can cause significant amounts of capital gains to be realized or not). Yet presumably the “child care and early learning” the state wants to finance with this tax is likely to be predictable and is expected to continue year-to-year. Rational planners do not finance predictable on-going expenses with volatile unpredictable sources of revenue.

    As to impacting only 1% of taxpayers, a capital gains tax can impact in a given year a lot of people who in most years have quite modest incomes – the owner of a small business who sells his business in order to retire, the employee of a startup company who has received stock options in lieu of more salary who accumulates those options and exercises them at once, possibly on the occasion of the stock first becoming publicly trade-able, or any of several other scenarios. So the impacted “1%” may include a lot of people not readily recognizable as the “super wealthy.”

    How about someone who owns a rental property that after 30 years or so has grown in value to the point that it is a major part of ones retirement savings. It doesn’t make you a one percenter…it just makes you a societal contributor rather than a needy taker. That’s the person that gets punished by the socialists. Right until there aren’t any givers left, only takers, and then there is collapse.

    I think the basic problem there is that homes etc should not increase in “value,” there’s no good reason for it.  And mostly they really don’t anyway, they increase in PRICE because of inflation, etc.  But the other reasons that homes etc increase in PRICE are because of continually-increasing regulation and other such things, that should not happen.  And people should not rely on their home or other property increasing in price OR in “value,” for retirement.

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Would you be happier if they were just called “city taxes” or whatever, for police, fire protection, etc? 

    I would be happy paying an annual fee, which we already do.

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I think states without income taxes make a lot more sense than states without property taxes.

    How about a state without either?  Think big!

    • #25
  26. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And people should not rely on their home or other property increasing in price OR in “value,” for retirement

    You must be kidding. Where’s the “sarc” notation. Property goes up in value because there are more people wanting some and the amount of property available on earth to supply that demand doesn’t increase without spending current dollars to develop it. That makes the already developed property more valuable. When people buy property, even their own homes, they expect to earn income and increase their investment. I must not be understanding your point @kcdavis, because this is pretty elementary capitalism.

    • #26
  27. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    It’s the people that are against liberty not the politicians. In much more purple Florida, a $15 minimum law barely passed with 60% of the vote. So in the much more liber Washington if they put it on the ballot. I bet it would easily pass with over 2/3rds at least.

    s.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    cdor (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And people should not rely on their home or other property increasing in price OR in “value,” for retirement

    You must be kidding. Where’s the “sarc” notation. Property goes up in value because there are more people wanting some and the amount of property available on earth to supply that demand doesn’t increase without spending current dollars to develop it. That makes the already developed property more valuable. When people buy property, even their own homes, they expect to earn income and increase their investment. I must not be understanding your point @ kcdavis, because this is pretty elementary capitalism.

    Most areas don’t have as much geographical constraint of available land.  Roads were built to where my house is, and roads can be built to places where other houses can be built.  If it costs more to build those roads than it cost to build my roads, the reason is likely also increased regulation/environmentalism, overall inflation, etc.

    • #28
  29. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Brian Clendinen (View Comment):

    It’s the people that are against liberty not the politicians. In much more purple Florida, a $15 minimum law barely passed with 60% of the vote. So in the much more liber Washington if they put it on the ballot. I bet it would easily pass with over 2/3rds at least.

    s.

    True.  I can’t think of a time when I have read about a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage and it failed.  Even many people who fall into the conservative category have little comprehension of the principles of economic liberty, and why they are better for everyone – not just the rich.

    • #29
  30. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    After previously ranting about how a volatile source of revenue like a capital gains tax is a lousy way to finance a predictable ongoing expense like childcare and early education, I will now turn to rant about how raising the minimum wage is a lousy way to help the poor, because the minimum wage is so inefficient at getting benefit to the poor. 

    Beyond the usual arguments about the minimum wage causing businesses to automate and eliminate some of those minimum wage jobs, a very high percentage of minimum wage jobs are held by people who do not rely on that job for basic necessities, and who live in relatively high income households (think teenaged children of middle and upper middle income parents). So most of the benefit of increasing the minimum wage goes not to putting more food on the table of hungry families, but to pay for teenagers to have more fashionable clothes, more video games, and more bling for a car. Increases in the minimum wage go to kids’ luxuries, not to family necessities. At one time I think over half the people holding minimum wage jobs were living in households with household incomes over $60,000, but that may have changed in the last few years.

    Also, price increases caused by rising minimum wages tend to hit poor people harder than they do richer people. “Poor” people spend a higher portion of their available income at businesses that depend on minimum wage labor (fast food restaurants, discount stores) than do richer people (fancier restaurants, higher end merchants, that use a higher skill labor force and for which increased minimum wages cause less of an impact on prices). So minimum wage driven prices rise faster at the businesses used by poor people than at businesses used by richer people. 

    The usual argument for increasing the minimum wage is to provide a “living wage” for a person who is stuck forever in a minimum wage job (apparently the person is stupid, or unable to learn, or congenitally lazy, so they cannot move up the job skill and wage ladder). A targeted direct subsidy would be much more efficient way to help such people. An increase in minimum wage is a subsidy to rich kids, and a lousy inefficient path to helping poor people. 

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.