Congress is grappling with capital gains tax, specifically higher and unorthodox — some say unconstitutional — rates for billionaires.
Meanwhile, all the way literally across the country from Washington, D.C., voters in Washington State will have their say today, Nov. 2, on whether they want to repeal their impending 7 percent capital gains tax.
The tax is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Evergreen State voters, however, have the chance to today to tell lawmakers they want to stop its implementation. Or keep it.
Most folks tend to be anti-tax, but the money that would be generated by this one would fund education and child services. When tax measures are dedicated to causes people support, the taxes themselves are looked upon a bit more favorably.
UPDATE, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021: The no new taxes position prevailed. Washington State voters overwhelmingly, by 63 percent to 37 percent, opted to repeal the capital gains tax.
Nonbinding vote on a non-income tax: Actually, though, the final tally of today's ballot issue Advisory Vote 37 doesn't really, technically matter. As its title indicates, the ballot question is a nonbinding, advice-only recommendation by the electorate.
That's fitting, since state lawmakers say the capital gains tax really isn't an income tax, but rather an excise tax. The semantics keep Washington State in the no-personal-income-tax club, as required by the state's constitution.
But some folks, if the tax stays, will still have to pay the 7 percent on any capital gains exceeding $250,000 made from the sale or exchange of long-term assets. Out of their income from the sales. So, potato, potahto.
You can read more of the creation of the tax in my May 9 post, Seeing double: capital gains tax debates in Washington and Washington. Want even more? Check out this Tax Foundation analysis.
Regardless of whether there's a specific tax matter on your ballot today, do vote. The people you elect likely will deal with some sort of tax issue that ultimately will affect you.
Make sure you have a say in who those deciders will be.
You also might find these items of interest:
- What cryptocurrency's booming values mean to owners' taxes
- Reviewing your portfolio is one of the tax moves you should make this November
- Capital gains taxes: Proposed increase for the ultra-wealthy, an overview for the rest of us investors