The two sides in the Initiative 1098 income tax fight have prepared campaign ads – with proponents going up on television today and opponents planning to air theirs sometime soon on radio.
The pro-1098 side's 30-second TV ad is linked here. It features Bill Gates Sr. talking about how I-1098 cuts property taxes, lowers taxes for small business and raises money for education and health care. Gates points out only the richest 1.2 percent in the state will pay.
But as opponents quickly pointed out Gates does not mention the income tax itself, which puts a 5 percent on earnings above $200,000 for individuals and 9 percent for earnings above $500,000 for individuals.
Opponents have this 60-second radio piece that warns listeners to look closer at 1098, arguing in effect that it will open the door to a permanent income tax on everyone. That’s because a simple majority of the Legislature (perhaps a tone-deaf one) could change the income thresholds in two years if it passes.
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Opponents said in a news release:
The I-1098 campaign said in a news release that its ad "will air indefinitely on television stations around the state as part of an initial six figure media buy." Here is the text of Gates' comments:
UPDATE: Sandeep Kaushik, spokesman for I-1098, said the ad is the first in a series and was designed to tell people things they might not know about the income tax proposal. "First of all, the one thing people know about I-1098 is it includes a limited income tax on the wealthy," he said. "There is much less awareness about the other aspects of the issue – which is cutting taxes for property and small businesses."
Opponents' ad – which spokesman Mark Funk says is to run statewide – goes like this:
Update includes clarification that the anti-1098 radio ads have not yet aired but are intended to go statewide.There are plenty more in funds where the first two ads came from.
The Washingtonians for Education Health and Tax Relief committee has raised $3.14 million and spent $1.1 million on the pro-1098 side, while Defeat 1098 has raised $2.13 million and spent $62,533 against. Two other groups have formed on both sides of the issue but raised little by comparison.