A great history of Washington State taxes found here shows that we never intended to have this needs-blind tax--it was an emergency measure to raise money during the Great Depression after the state supreme court struck down a voter-approved income tax. Three-quarters of a century later, Washington remains one of a half-dozen states without an income tax (four more votes failed, most recently in 1975). The resulting reliance on property and especially sales taxes earns our state a special distinction: the most unequal tax structure in the nation.
Voters in Oregon just approved a hike in their income tax rates, but preemptive opposition immediately appeared against taking such measures here to fill the $2.6 billion state budget shortfall. So the Legislature will spend the next month struggling through more cuts, and I'll get ready to send another small check in three months--if nothing else, we at Farm Power are doing our part.