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Gov. Jay Inslee delivers the opening address at  the 2013 GeekWire Startup Day, where he laid the groundwork for investing more in the state.
Gov. Jay Inslee delivers the opening address at the 2013 GeekWire Startup Day.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee today proposed a new $39 billion budget which includes a plan to raise taxes, with much of the new state revenue coming through a newly-proposed capital gains tax.  As The Seattle Times notes, the plan runs counter to Gov. Inslee’s campaign pledges in 2012 in which said he would not raise taxes.

Gov. Jay Inslee
Gov. Jay Inslee

The 2015-2017 budget calls for tax and revenue changes that will raise a total of about $1.4 billion over two years, with more than half the new revenue coming from the capital gains tax. Gov. Inslee notes in the budget that the tax “would affect only our very wealthiest taxpayers,” and the budget would put the state on a “sustainable fiscal path.”

It will be interesting to see how the technology community reacts to the proposal, many of whom fought hard against a 2010 proposal to institute an income tax on the wealthiest one percent. The I-1098 initiative was rejected easily by voters in the state. (Correction: The date in which I-1098 was defeated was incorrect in an earlier version of the story. It has since been updated).

In addition to not collecting income tax, The Seattle Times notes that Washington is one of nine states that does not tax capital gains. Gov. Inslee said the tax system is unfair to low-income and middle-income people in the state.

“After more than a half decade of cutting vital services and neglecting obligations, Governor Inslee believes it is time to start reinvesting in Washington,” according to a message on the budget.

Gov. Inslee noted in a Tweet:

At GeekWire Startup Day in 2013, Gov. Inslee pointed to the unique attributes of Washington’s economy, coining the phrase Innovation Per Dollar or IPD.

“I believe we lead the world in IPD right here in the state of Washington,” Inslee said. “It’s throughout our geekdom — it’s in aerospace, in energy, in transportation, in software, in the gaming industry.”

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