OIympia voters should be quick to vote no on Proposition One, a badly constructed ballot initiative that promises a court challenge, not college scholarships.
Proposition One seems to offer college scholarships for local students at the expense of wealthier residents. But in reality, it establishes an income tax that would be illegal and unconstitutional. And in addition, it would require all Olympia taxpayers to provide the city with copies of tax returns so the city can determine who owes this tax.
The State Supreme Court has ruled income tax unconstitutional. This can’t be reversed by local voters. And State Statute prohibits cities from collecting income tax. This law can only be changed by the State Legislature, not by the City Council and not by Prop 1.
Yes, I am concerned that our state’s tax policy is unbalanced. Yes, college should be more affordable for more students. But the ballot initiative on this November’s ballot is not the answer to these problems. If Prop 1 passes, the resulting court challenge will divert City funds and attention from City priorities such as public safety, downtown revitalization and economic development.