MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Bill Gates calls for income tax in Washington state

Jan 3, 2020, 8:46 AM | Updated: 9:41 am

Bill Gates, income tax, coronavirus...

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Washington state has long found itself labeled as having one of the least equitable tax structures of any state, something Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates affirmed in a recent blog post calling for an income tax.

Opinion: History of Washington’s income tax shows why we need it

“The truth is, I’ve been pushing for a fairer tax system for years,” Gates penned. “It was nearly two decades ago that my dad and I started calling for an increase in the federal estate tax and for an estate tax in our home state of Washington, which has the most regressive tax system in the country.”

Gates used that point to emphasize the need for an improved tax system both in Washington and the U.S., with a special focus on fairly taxing the country’s wealthiest earners.

“The wealth gap is growing,” he noted. “The distance between top and bottom incomes in the United States is much greater than it was 50 years ago. A few people end up with a great deal —I’ve been disproportionately rewarded for the work I’ve done — while many others who work just as hard struggle to get by.”

Gates went on to lay out what he views as a hard truth: That the U.S. government at its core doesn’t collect enough in taxes. He backs that up with data stating that while the federal government collects roughly 20 percent of GDP in taxes, it spends 24 percent.

To bridge that gap, he proposes raising the estate tax, and closing certain loopholes “many wealthy people take advantage of.”

“I don’t see any reason to favor wealth over work the way we do today,” said Gates. “A dynastic system where you can pass vast wealth along to your children is not good for anyone; the next generation doesn’t end up with the same incentive to work hard and contribute to the economy.”

Court rules Seattle can impose an income tax in stunning decision

In addition to the estate tax, Gates also called for removing the cap on how much income is subject to Medicare taxes, taxing long-held massive fortunes, and making state and local taxes more equitable in the form of an income tax in Washington state.

“It isn’t always popular to stand up for higher taxes, so it’s great that many Americans are having this conversation,” he stated. “I want to be as clear as possible about my views.”

MyNorthwest News

Photo: The Seattle City Council passed a bill to crack down on street racing. This photo shows an i...

Julia Dallas

Seattle council votes to crack down on street racing; adds fines, classifies as reckless driving

The Seattle City Council passed a bill that adds fines to illegal street racing and classifies the crime as reckless driving.

12 hours ago

Photo: Bellevue police are looking for this silver Hyundai Elantra....

Julia Dallas

Do you recognize this car? Bellevue police looking for teens accused of hitting girl

Bellevue police are looking for a group of juveniles who allegedly hit a bicyclist on purpose Saturday night.

15 hours ago

Photo: Activists protested outside of the Amazon Spheres on Tuesday, calling for the company to spe...

Julia Dallas

Activists call on Amazon to speed up climate goals amid Prime Day

Environment groups are protesting outside the Amazon Spheres, using Prime Day to bring attention to their cause.

16 hours ago

Sen. Bob Menendez...

LARRY NEUMEISTER AND PHILIP MARCELO, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Guilty: U.S. Senator Bob Menendez convicted on all counts

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez was convicted on Tuesday on all counts at his corruption trial including accepting bribes of gold and cash.

18 hours ago

Photo: A suspect died after they fired at Pierce County deputies....

Julia Dallas and James Lynch

Suspect dies in Pierce County deputy-involved shooting

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department has reported a shooting involving an officer took place on Monday.

19 hours ago

double alcohol limit...

Frank Sumrall

Driver of January fatal crash that killed 4 children had double the legal alcohol limit

The driver, Kiarra Monaghan, 29, reportedly had a blood-alcohol content that was 0.201% when she drove nearly 100 miles per hour on State Route 512.

19 hours ago

Bill Gates calls for income tax in Washington state