For too long our state’s tax system has placed a disproportionate responsibility for funding important state priorities on small businesses. Each year small businesses in Washington are forced to pay nearly twice as much of their income in taxes as large businesses. The small business penalty is unfair and makes it more difficult to compete. That’s why Bill Gates Senior organized a coalition of respected business, labor, and community leaders to pass I-1098 and secure tax relief for our middle class families and small businesses.
The nonpartisan Office of Financial Management recently reported that I-1098 will:
• Eliminate B&O taxes for most small businesses by increasing the small business B&O tax credit from $420 to $4800. I-1098 will exempt 81 percent of Washington businesses from B&O tax payments, and reduce B&O tax payments for another 12 percent.
• Cut the state property tax by 20 percent. Every business that owns property will benefit from this tax cut. Most businesses that lease property would also benefit. Cutting taxes on the vast majority of Washington State residents will boost consumer spending and improve the business climate across the state.
• Enact a limited income tax on only the richest 1.2% of taxpayers. By law, I-1098 will not tax a penny below $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for joint filers. Yet it will still generate $2 billion per year dedicated to a trust fund for education and health care.
The Greater Seattle Business Association has endorsed Initiative 1098 and is committed to ensuring our small business owners have the opportunity to thrive. Initiative 1098 provides the tax relief we need for middle class families and small business owners.
In addition, 70% of all revenues I-1098 generates are dedicated to a trust fund for education and 30% of all revenues are dedicated to improving healthcare. A highly educated, well-trained, and healthy workforce is critically important to getting out of the recession and building a strong economy for the future. That is why we need your help today – please click below and join me in this effort.
I-1098 was written with strict accountability and transparency provisions. I-1098 requires full public disclosure of spending and subjects all funds to independent audits. It dedicates all new revenue to a trust fund where politicians are legally prohibited from spending it on any purpose other than education and healthcare. And it prohibits the income tax rate or who pays it from being changed without a vote of the people.
Passing I-1098 will not be easy. A small group of very wealthy CEOs, venture capitalists, and multi-millionaire developers who enjoy the status quo, have pledged to spend millions to defeat 1098. Already they have made false claims about the benefits of 1098 in an attempt to scare voters. We can’t let them win.
The campaign to help small businesses like yours is well underway. But we need your help to build a strong grassroots campaign to reach out to voters all across the state and tell them about the benefits of 1098. Please get involved today.