Many new laws took effect in Washington State on January 1. All of them restrict the liberty of individuals and businesses in our state.
- The first Income Tax (unconstitutional) will take effect, in the form of a “capital gains tax” on gains over $250,000. The new law is in litigation now, but the state will implement it anyway. The State Constitution prohibits any tax on income that is not equally imposed on every taxpayer. Since the new tax only applies on capital gains over $250,000, it manifestly does not apply to every state taxpayer. The Seattle Leftists who passed the tax are relying on the Seattle Supreme Court to deem it constitutional.“It’s estimated that the tax will bring in over $400 million in its first year. Those dollars will be used to invest in child care and early learning, among other things, as a way to balance the state’s tax code. That’s according to supporters, who insist it will impact less than 1% of the state’s wealthiest taxpayers.” (quote from article on MyNorthwest.com) [editorial comment: Leftists always assume, incorrectly, that the targets of a punitive tax will simply go about their lives, make no changes to their behavior, and at the end of the year simply pay the tax-that’s where they get their “estimates” of how much it will bring in. This particular tax will be very simple to avoid-just don’t generate as much in capital gains-stock or other assets not sold do not generate capital gains. I am looking forward to their puzzlement in 2023 that the tax brought in much less than they had planned for.]
- The State minimum wage increases to $14.49 per hour. The Seattle minimum wage will increase to $17.27 per hour for large companies. For small companies, the minimum wage increases to $15.75 per hour. How many small businesses will close because they cannot afford to pay that kind of minimum wage for work that is not worth that much?
- Felons released from prison will immediately regain voting rights, regardless of whether they have paid all the restitution they are liable for.
- Businesses will no longer be able to automatically include single-use plastic utensils with carry-out orders-the customer will be required to ask for them. I expect numerous customers will be very surprised when their orders have no utensils, and they have already driven away from the drive-through window. The State plastic-bag ban took effect in October.
And then, there’s the story about the Polar Bear Swim in Lake Washington on January 1. The organizers have issued new rules, requiring swimmers to be fully vaccinated against the CCP Virus, have taken a booster shot, and wear a mask. Yes, that includes wearing a mask in the water, which is expected to be around 43 degrees. Madness, sheer madness.