It was deja vu all over again yesterday as supporters of Initiative 1098 heard a pep talk from Bill Gates, Sr. and picked up the very first petitions for the campaign — just like the Initiative 1077 kickoff that took place almost exactly one month ago. So what’s the difference between the two measures? And why was I-1077 refiled as I-1098?
In virtually every respect, the two measures are the same. If approved by voters, I-1098 will:
- Exempt every small business in Washington from the B&O tax with a $4,800 business tax credit;
- Reduce the state portion of the property tax by 20 percent;
- Create a modest income tax on income over $400,000 per year (for couples) or $200,000 per year (for individuals); and
- Invest the net revenue — estimated at over $1 billion per year — in education and health care.
The difference between the two measures is simply this: I-1098 adds language that ensures domestic partners are treated the same as married couples when it comes to filing a single or joint return for the new state income tax. And since adding language to a ballot measure effectively makes it a new initiative, Washington State requires the initiative to be refiled and assigned a new number by the state attorney general’s office.
Looking for more information about Initiative 1098? Visit the Economic Opportunity Institute website.