Voter, educate thyself! State law mandates that the Office of Financial Management (in consultation with other state offices) develop a fiscal impact statement for every statewide ballot initiative. The analysis of Initiative 1098 has just been released — highlights follow, with a link to the complete report below.
Major findings from the OFM report include:
Initiative 1098 will cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses.
- I-1098 will decrease property taxes by $383 million in 2012 (rising to $425 million in 2016) for all Washington property owners, both individuals and businesses, by cutting the state property tax by 20 percent.
- I-1098 will newly exempt 118,000 small businesses from the B&O tax, and provide substantial tax cuts for another 39,000 businesses. Under I-1098, more than 80 percent of businesses in the state will be exempt from the B&O, while another 12 percent will see their taxes reduced.
Initiative 1098 will generate substantial new revenue to restore deep cuts to education and health care.
- In 2013, I-1098 will deliver over $1.1 billion to fund educational priorities like K-12 class size reductions and increased access to higher education, and an additional $474 million for the voter-approved Basic Health Plan, public health and long-term care for seniors.
- The measure will generate more than $2.2 billion annually thereafter, to be deposited in special trust funds for education and health care, respectively.
Initiative 1098’s income tax will affect just 1% of tax filers.
- The OFM analysis finds that I-1098‘s income tax is strictly limited: 98.8% of households will pay no income tax under I-1098.
- Since by law not a penny of income below $400,000 a year for couples will be taxed ($200,000 for individuals), just 38,400 individuals or households — out of 3.2 million — would file a Washington state tax return.
Looking for more information about Initiative 1098? Visit the Economic Opportunity Institute website.