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Articles written by Jason Mercier

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OPINION

For months I’ve been asking the Department of Revenue (DOR) if it plans to collect the capital gains income tax that was ruled unconstitutional by an Inslee-appointed judge on March 1. The answer has consistently been: “That decision has not...

 

OPINION

Nine hundred and seventy five days later, the Governor’s emergency orders related to COVID-19 are finally ending after today. Now begins the next steps for legislative reforms and a court date before the state Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court...

 

OPINION

The Citizen Action Defense Fund (CADF), a local government watchdog nonprofit in our state that files lawsuits, sent the Department of Revenue (DOR) a letter today demanding the agency stop its rule-making activities to implement the capital gains in...

 

OPINION

OLYMPIA–Unless the legislature decides to step in and require transparency for state government employee compensation talks, they will continue to be conducted in secret based on an agreement the Governor's office recently reached with union offici...

 

OPINION

Governor Inslee announced today that he will finally end governing under an emergency order, after more than 900 days, on October 31. When the legislature next convenes it should ensure that this type of ongoing emergency governance without...

 

OPINION

On February 29, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a declaration of an emergency related to the COVID pandemic. Since then, the Governor has issued numerous emergency orders either waiving various laws and/or imposing restrictions on citizens and...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    July 21, 2022

WEA asks state supreme court to do what voters won't on income taxes

The Washington Education Association (WEA) on June 30 filed a legal brief with the state supreme court in the capital gains income tax case asking the justices to change their prior rulings and now declare that income isn’t property (meaning you...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    May 5, 2022

OPINION

Proponents of the unconstitutional capital gains income tax are working overtime to prevent voters from weighing in. First, there was the game last year with the emergency clause to prevent a referendum. Now capital gains income tax supporters are...

 
 By Jason Mercier    News    April 14, 2022

Attorney General: Capital gains tax is an "excise tax"

We can now add the Attorney General’s Office to the list of state officials apparently ignoring the Douglas County Superior Court ruling that unequivocally said the capital gains tax is an unconstitutional income tax, not an excise tax. Despite...

 

State officials proceeding with capital gains income tax plans despite court ruling it unconstitutional

When a court rules that a tax is “is declared unconstitutional and invalid and, therefore, is void and inoperable as a matter of law,” what happens next? One would think that means efforts by state officials to put the tax in place would be...

 
 By Jason Mercier    News    March 24, 2022

Sound Transit says lack of income tax is a job benefit

WASHINGTON STATE–Sound Transit is in the market for a new CEO and recently posted a recruiting brochure. The very first thing highlighted on the compensation and benefits slide after salary is: "No...

 
 By Jason Mercier    News    March 17, 2022

Did Lt. Governor just open Pandora's box on conference committee reports?

OLYMPIA–A lot happened in the final hours of session. One thing that may have gone under the radar was a ruling by Lt. Governor Denny Heck that creates the potential for significant anti-transparent legislative games to be played in conference...

 
 By Jason Mercier    News    March 10, 2022

Emergency powers reform killed by lawmakers

OLYMPIA–Sorry to break the news, Washingtonians, but year three of living under emergency orders by the Governor will continue just as the last two years have–without meaningful legislative oversight. The House yesterday officially killed SB...

 

Should citizen ballot measures be banned in odd year elections?

A bill scheduled for a public hearing next week (HB 1727) would ban citizen ballot measures in odd years, but still allow local governments to call special elections to increase taxes. A similar bill was proposed in 2020. Former Secretary of State Ki...

 

Guest Commentary

In a 7-2 ruling this morning the State Supreme Court said the partial vetoes the Governor made in the 2019 transportation budget were unconstitutional. When issuing those vetoes the Governor said: “While my veto authority is generally limited to...

 

OPINION

By Jason Mercier TVW recently held a Q&A event between students and the Governor discussing various topics. The full interview is worth watching. Topics included dam breaching, homelessness, climate policy, police reform and vaccine mandates. One...

 

OPINION

Washington state ranks among the bottom for states that provide legislative oversight of executive emergency powers. What’s Washington doing wrong? We explore the problem and need for reform in this new video (WPC video here). In an emergency,...

 

OPINION

Cities across Washington are acting to ban a local income tax. In one example, this November voters in the city of Yakima will consider ballot measure Proposition 3, a charter amendment that would prohibit city officials from imposing a local income...

 

GUEST COMMENTARY

As more cities act to ban a local income tax, detractors claim this effort to protect taxpayers is a waste of time. I really wish there wasn’t a concerted effort to bring the state of Washington and its cities an income tax. Unfortunately,...

 

Guest Commentary

While we wait for the capital gains income tax litigation to work its way through the courts, the University of Washington’s Law School has posted an interesting video: “Three-minute Legal Tips: Capital Gains Tax.” The video is a short...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    July 22, 2021

Guest Commentary

By Jason Mercier The City of Battle Ground could soon join Spokane, Granger and Spokane Valley in banning a local income tax. At its July 19 meeting the city council will consider Resolution Number 21-07 (Regarding Opposition To A Local Income Tax On...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    July 8, 2021

OPINION

Washington’s long delay to re-opening has seemed very arbitrary. There isn’t anything scientific about June 30 in the fight against COVID but hitting that date on the calendar is the trigger necessary for the Governor to finally join 48 other...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    July 1, 2021

OPINION

Washington's quarterly revenue forecast today showed yet another huge increase in tax revenue. This is $2.6 billion more than was previously expected when lawmakers wrote the 2021-23 budget earlier...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    June 17, 2021

OPINION

OLYMPIA–The Thurston County Superior Court issued a ruling last Friday (June 11) in the lawsuit the Secretary of State filed against the Governor for clarification on how to handle his simultaneous two-handed and off-camera signings of two...

 
 By Jason Mercier    Opinion    May 27, 2021

OPINION

The Opportunity for All Coalition filed a lawsuit today to overturn the new income tax on capital gains (SB 5096). This is the second lawsuit to be filed against the tax. The plaintiffs are April Clayton (Red Apple Orchards), Kevin and Renee Bouchey...

 

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