Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: taxes


TOBACCO: Vaping tax will cause deaths

Re: “Inslee tax would nearly double cost of vaping” (thenewstribune.com, 2-26).

I have a serious question for Jay Inslee: “Governor, why do you want people to die?”

For 20 years or so, it’s been public policy to encourage smoking cessation by imposing high taxes on tobacco products. It’s been a very gradual process, but the taxes have been partially successful. Smoking is on the decline.

Now we have an attractive and economical alternative to smoking cigarettes (vaping) that has the potential to finish the job, but Inslee wants to tax it to smithereens. Because of this tax, some smokers

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TAXES: State needs more progressive tax system

Re: “Districts chafe at Inslee’s pay increases” (TNT, 2-23).

I am in total agreement that the state should fully fund education. I am a retired teacher and a signature gatherer for Initiative 1351, which passed narrowly last November.

I believe teachers, and for that matter most workers, are underpaid, and I believe the McCleary decision is both correct and that the state Supreme Court should be holding the legislators in contempt unless they work hard to achieve the budget necessary to afford both smaller class sizes and the other McCleary goals.

When I was in Olympia Feb. 19, I

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TAXES: Don’t discard school bond supermajority requirement

Re: “Majority enough for school bond elections?” (TNT, 2-15).

Washington voters have affirmed the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases five times during the past 20 years. School bonds only require a 60 percent voter approval before the burden of new taxes is levied on the backs of property owners. This voter approval threshold is the only protection property owners have to restrain the temptation of new taxes by school districts.

Only 1 in 10 houses sold in Pierce County in 2013 was bought by individual homeowners. With the majority of the remaining homes being bought by major private investment firms to become

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OBAMA: It’s important to set broad goals

Re: The State of the Union address.

What is wrong with expressing a broad vision of the future? If we can’t even set goals then we get caught up in details that seemingly go nowhere. Far from being “cutesy,” as writer called it, it is an important aid as to where we want the nation to go.

Instead of constantly repeating the mantra of “no new taxes,” “no big government,” “no – whatever,” I would appreciate one major speech from the GOP that outlined Republicans’ goals for education, health care, insurance coverage, wage equality, Cuba relations, etc. It can’t just be “Don’t

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ISRAEL: US taxpayers underwrite destruction

My wife and I contribute money to various groups helping refugees and people whose homes have been destroyed in warlike actions that occur periodically in the Middle East.

The irony for us is that we send monies to help repair the damage that our tax dollars have caused in the form of massive damage, such as the aid the U.S. gives to Israel, that is then used to fight an uneven war with Palestinians who fight mostly with rocks, and in too many cases in desperation with unprovoked attacks on innocent Israelis.

There is blame on both sides, but maybe

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TAXES: Inslee proposes a tax-and-spender budget

Re: “Inslee budget highlights” (TNT, 12-19).

What a surprise. To address a $2 billion state budget shortfall, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is going to up the cigarette tax and throw in new taxes for capital gains and carbon emissions. And repeal more than several current tax breaks.

Washington’s cigarette tax is one the highest in the country and will burden the heaviest smokers, often those struggling to get by. Imagine the wonderment as cigarette tax revenues evaporate to nearby states, where legions of Washingtonians already buy their liquor. Sin taxes are the first and last refuge of a tax-and-spender.

Capital gains tax

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TAXES: Consider fairness of low-income tax credit

Congratulations on the timeliness and the basic fairness thrust of the editorial (TNT, 12-4) comparing the state sales tax deduction with state income tax deductions. However, the editorial may have been unduly harsh on our congressional delegation and the president.

We have paid federal taxes in Washington state for more than 40 years. We consistently itemize. We use the sales tax deduction depending on availability. Last year the sales tax deduction saved us about $450.

However we would willingly suffer the inconvenience of “not knowing” or even forgo the sales tax deduction if the tradeoff, as it was in this case, is

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TAXES: All non-profits deserve break

Re: “IRS shouldn’t allow churches to disregard tax law,” (editorial, 12-2).

I realize editorials are all about opinion, but I expect better from The News Tribune. When you don’t address the real issues, you just inflame peoples existing prejudices. There other non-profit organizations that pay no taxes and yet have the freedom to make political endorsements (like unions).

Why are churches limited in their free speech? Why would a journalist want to limit others’ free speech? Why don’t we eliminate all non-profit tax breaks and plug the budget hole at the county jail?

These organizations exist to make all of

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