On constitutional taxes | Letter

Is this new graduated state real estate excise tax (REET) constitutional?

The Washington State Constitution, in Article VII Revenue and Taxation says, “All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property…All real estate shall constitute one class.”

So how does the state legislature and the governor define a graduated REET as “uniform upon the same class?” Isn’t this restriction the same issue the state proponents of an income tax have with a graduated income tax? Graduated is not uniform.

Didn’t I read in The Seattle Times recently that the city of Seattle’s attorney Pete Holmes advised the City Council their graduated capital gains tax was unconstitutional because, among other things, it is not uniform?

If the state Legislature is looking for fairness in our tax system then how about taxing tribal gaming? Washington is the only state with untaxed tribal gaming. The tribes pay a small fee for the state’s cost of regulation but no gross profits tax. It’s estimated this tax would raise a billion dollars per year.

Dear Legislator, it’s fairer to soak property owners when they sell?

Jerry Forell

Kirkland

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