Letter: Death by taxation

Battle Ground resident Dick Rylander shares his thoughts on Gov. Jay Inslee’s new taxation plan

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com 

Governor Inslee recently came out with a new taxation plan. Let’s look at the proposed new taxes:

Dick Rylander
Dick Rylander

• A new per member/per month assessment on health insurance carriers = $205 to $345 million per year. This works out to about $40 per employee per year

• A capital gains tax that would raise an estimate $3.5 billion 2021-2023

• Unemployment taxes are rising as much as 10x. Going from an average of $44/yr to $230/yr

• A carbon tax that is estimated to cost taxpayers $1 billion per year

• Gasoline tax increases target at an additional $0.57 per gallon by 2030

These proposed “new taxes” are on top of the billions the legislature and governor added in the last session. Governor Inslee’s State Dept of Employment has seen the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars due to scammers. Governor Inlee’s “decrees” have closed thousands of businesses causing 10’s of thousands of people to be laid off.

Let’s switch to something near and dear to our hearts and wallets. Property taxes. I did a little research using our own home as an example. Please take a few minutes and go look at your own property tax history at: https://gis.clark.wa.gov/gishome/property/index.cfm

Here are some facts:

1.       In Jan. 2012 the median (half above and half below) residential property values in Clark County were approximately $170,000. In November 2020, according to the RMLS monthly report, the median price was $429,900. That means that in eight years the median price has gone up about $260,000 which works out to a 253 percent increase. Since many taxes are based on an amount per $1,000 of assessed value taxes have risen at an astonishing rate.

2.       What’s the inflation rate been over the past 15 years? From 2006 to 2020 inflation increased about 28 percent.

3.       Property taxes, from 2006 to 2020, increased by slightly over 47 percent.

4.       Average wage increases from 2006 to 2020 were slightly over 13 percent.

Discussion

Property taxes have gone up 47 percent while wages have gone up 13 percent. That means taxes have increased at a rate of 3.6x. Taxes have gone up 47 percent while inflation is up 2 percent. That means taxes have increased at a rate of 1.67x inflation. Wages have NOT kept up with inflation or taxes.

How long can people raid their savings or be forced into tradeoffs that strip their retirement fund? How can people pay the existing massive tax increases (much less these new proposed taxes) when they can’t earn enough money to pay their living expenses?

It appears that tax and spend legislators (Democrat and Republican) believe that money grows on trees.

This is going to continue until the people raise their voices and take action. The only way to turn this ship around is to take control of the engine room and fire the captain and his officers. The real question is when the people will revolt. Antifa and BLM use destruction to make their point and apparently it works. However, we need to use our collective strength and voices not for physical destruction and mayhem but for the good of the people.

Join me in reaching out to the elected representatives locally and across the State and do it weekly. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Let’s make the wheel so loud they can’t ignore us. Who’ll join me in making a commitment to reverse the taxes? Your children and grandchildren will thank you.

Dick Rylander
Battle Ground

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