in Houston, Texas
Gov. Rick Perry pitches 'America's new land of opportunity' (Texas) to Washington state businesses as voters there ponder income tax
Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010, 11:35AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
income tax and dice

The hand gnashing and teeth wringing over the possibility of an income tax in the state of Washington is at the center of an interesting look by Stateline at the economy's depressing effect on sales taxes.


Washington is one of eight states, including Texas, that derive more than half its state's overall revenue from sales tax collections. Washington and Texas are also among just seven states without a personal income tax. Washington, the story says, relies more heavily than any other state in the union on its sales tax and still, that is not enough.


Amid state budget cuts and layoffs, voters next month are being asked in something called Initiative 1098 to approve a tax of 5 percent on annual income above $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for couples. The proposal calls for a 9-percent levy on income above $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for couples.


Polls say people in Washington are warming to the idea.

“We’ve got a fairly strong history against the income tax in our state,” state budget director Marty Brown told Stateline. “I don’t think anybody would have guessed that (Initiative 1098) would be doing as well as it is.”

Gov. Rick Perry apparently likes it, too. According to the Houston Chronicle's Texas Politics blog, Perry's office sent letters from the governor to 90 major corporations and business associations in Washington soliciting their business.


"As the State of Washington considers a multibillion-dollar tax increase for citizens and businesses, and the first state income tax since 1993, I invite you to consider your future in America's new land of opportunity: the State of Texas," Perry says in the letter. "If Washington doesn't want your business, Texas does. Texas has no personal income tax, and there's no interest in getting one."


Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or


Photo of dice and income tax position on Monopoly board by flickr user alancleaver_2000, used via a Creative Commons license.

Thursday, 10/28/2010 - 11:56AM

Low taxes is not the only consideration for a company move. Most people in blue states cringe at the possibility of living in Texas. Washington's company owners and employees may have to make sure and bring their own textbooks for their children. They will also have to adapt to the Texas' judicial system and its notorious street enforcers. I could go on and on.

Tuesday, 11/02/2010 - 12:20AM

@AR, most Texans cringe at the thought of another blue state idiot moving here, so cringe away and stay in whatever progressive city you currently live in. Can you tell I'm the great state of Texas?

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