July 27th, 2009
Washington NOT eighth highest taxed state, Permanent Defense calls on Tim Eyman to stop misleading the public
Rethinking and Reframing
Permanent Defense, a project of the Northwest Progressive Institute founded in 2002 to neutralize attacks on Washington’s quality of life, today called on professional initiative profiteeer Tim Eyman to stop misleading the public and distorting the truth about Washington State’s tax structure.
In a post authored on the Northwest Progressive Institute’s principal publication, the NPI Advocate, NPI’s executive director, Andrew Villeneuve, skewered Eyman’s ongoing and false claim that Washington is one of the highest taxed states in the nation.
Every year Tim Eyman makes a big deal out of claiming the sky is falling and the people of Washington are overtaxed compared to residents of other states.
Some years Eyman has claimed we’re the fourth highest taxed state; other years he has claimed we’re the second highest. Now it’s the eighth highest.
Somehow, despite the implementation of two of his terrible initiatives by the Legislature – which have destroyed billions of dollars in funding for public services – we have remained in his mythical top ten.
NPI/Permanent Defense request that journalists not print or reproduce in any way Eyman’s claims as facts. Eyman’s email this evening should be treated as discredited hyperbole not fit for public consumption.
The Washington State Department of Revenue has already released a statement calling the rankings that Eyman refers to misleading:
The only accurate way to compare tax burdens is by comparing both state and local taxes among states. By that measure, Washington ranks 19th-highest per capita and 35th-highest in taxes as a percentage of personal income.
Economists generally prefer measuring as a percentage of personal income because it takes into account economic activity and demand for services. Rankings have become a popular staple among certain national publications, but they can be misleading. The most recent Forbes ranking is one of those.
Permanent Defense’s initial analysis of Initiative 1033 may be found in the PD archives.