Ken Schram: Income tax initiative a slippery slope

Ken Schram: Income tax initiative a slippery slope
With the general election just three weeks away, I want to take another shot at Initiative 1098.

This is the measure that would set up a state income tax on individuals who earn $200,000 a year; $400,000 for couples.

I can see the temptation of targeting high income earners as a way to help better fund state programs and services.

For a family making $60, $70, even $80,000 a year, it may feel like a way to up the ante on the wealthy.

Here are the problems I have with I-1098.

For one thing, after two years it would only take a simple majority vote of the legislature to change the initiative.

Lawmakers could lower the taxable income level to whatever they damn well please.

In short, that $80,000 a year family could quickly be wrapped up with a state income tax bill.

The other problem I have with I-1098 is it being touted as a tax reform measure.


Yes, it diminishes property taxes by a small margin and it eases some of the business and occupation tax burden.

But tax reform?

Not by a long shot.

I'm a long time advocate for tax reform - including a state income tax - and I-1098 doesn't even come close.

People have three more weeks to make up their mind on this issue.

I hope you make the right one.

"No" on I-098.


Have something to say to Ken? Login or signup below to post a comment. Just be sure to read the rules and keep things civil. You can also e-mail him at You can also hook up with Ken on Facebook.