Forum Index > Stewardship > WTA - A Better Way for Recreation Passes?
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RumiDude
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RumiDude
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PostFri Mar 09, 2018 9:28 pm 
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Huron wrote:
No. User fees INCREASE effective taxes because they are inefficient. Each user fee requires administration, marketing, infrastructure, enforcement and then the fee reduces resource utilization. We all use something. Snow parks, trails, toll roads, whatever. Even someone who sits on the couch all day at home indirectly uses fee resources. We should seek to reduce the overall cost of these resources by efficiently managing them with low overhead. This means no fee systems. No toll roads. No access charges. Its silly.

So then you are in favor of the first option mentioned, the Pass Free Package?

Rumi

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Huron
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PostFri Mar 09, 2018 9:36 pm 
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If the pass free package means providing basic maintenance of recreational areas in the general budget of the governing organization, then yes.
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Mar 09, 2018 9:43 pm 
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The problem is taxes are always unpopular the easiest way to get elected or pass a ballot measure is to say it lowers taxes. User fees pass cost to someone else such as hippies, treehuggers, Seattleites, granola eaters, etc. So it goes.

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fourteen410
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fourteen410
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PostSat Mar 10, 2018 1:26 am 
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I'm pretty sure Riverside Laker was being facetious dizzy.gif
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RodF
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PostSat Mar 10, 2018 11:45 pm 
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cascadeclimber wrote:
Along the way, let's decouple WTA from its dependence on "trail maintenance" revenue from the DNR and oblige the DNR to show that it has existing budget to maintain new infrastructure before it's built.

Pardon me, but this opinion appears misinformed.

Discover Pass was initiated to cover a 91% cut in state General Fund support, including a 78% cut in state tax support, for Washington State Parks.  DNR sites were later added as Discover Pass fee sites as an afterthought.

DNR is supposed to generate funds for schools.  The state general fund is supposed to support DNR recreational facilities, including trails, not DNR timber revenues.  The legislature set those rules, in law.  See DNR budget.

WTA gets limited grant funding from state Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO).  It comes from tiny sliver of state gasoline tax, not from DNR timber revenue.  And this is a tiny fraction of WTA's budget or of RCO's grants.

Bottom line: the problem is state legislature is unwilling to support state parks.  The cause is state voters are unwilling to support a state income tax.  That's the elephant in the room; all the rest is squabbling over leftover crumbs... that aren't leftover anymore.

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostSun Mar 11, 2018 6:45 am 
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I will say that every year at this time, I rejoice in not having a state income tax.

Will be heading up this morning to park in a nice snopark required area and skiing on magically funded groomed trails.

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schifferj
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PostSun Mar 11, 2018 5:10 pm 
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RodF wrote:
Bottom line: the problem is state legislature is unwilling to support state parks.  The cause is state voters are unwilling to support a state income tax.  That's the elephant in the room; all the rest is squabbling over leftover crumbs... that aren't leftover anymore.

Washington State residents enjoy the fourth highest sales tax in the country.  Washington State residents enjoy the second highest gasoline tax in the country at nearly $.50 per gallon.  Inslee and company are about to foist upon us a "Carbon Use Tax" which basically will add more to my gasoline tax and cost me to heat and light my house.  That money will get lost in the general fund with no designated use.  The state legislation just laid on me a $1500 increase in property taxes!  You bet I'm against and unwilling to support a state income tax!
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joker
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 8:12 am 
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RodF you're going to confuse a good narrative with actual facts!!
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Gregory
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 8:18 am 
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Why is the income tax the answer?
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treeswarper
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 9:30 am 
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Gregory wrote:
Why is the income tax the answer?

My theory which is certainly not factual is that we now have a majority of people who "aint from around here" and they are used to having an income tax.  Example:  "Back in Californy, we had an income tax and everything was good therefore we need one here because this is where I live now."

We will now hear how regressive our tax system is, I bet.

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RumiDude
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Gregory wrote:
Why is the income tax the answer?

My theory which is certainly not factual is that we now have a majority of people who "aint from around here" and they are used to having an income tax.  Example:  "Back in Californy, we had an income tax and everything was good therefore we need one here because this is where I live now."

We will now hear how regressive our tax system is, I bet.

No, you are wrong.

First off just let me say there is nothing magic about any one particular tax system that will make all the troubles go away. And every tax system is subject to bureaucratic expansion and abuse. Secondly Washington has just about one of the most screwed up tax revenue systems of all the fifty states. Idaho and Oregon are both much better.

Now on to why an income tax is a better system than our current patchwork of consumer/consumption taxes. Consumption taxes are regressive in that they have a greater negative impact on those who make less. A properly graduated income tax spreads the burden much more equitably across income levels and eliminates the need for these myriad of consumption taxes and fees.

If Washington could impose a properly graduated (indexed) income tax across the board, including for large corporations, and at the same time eliminate almost all of the consumption taxes, we could much easily tackle budgetary issues in a more straight forward manner.

And again, there is no magic bullet to solve our tax and budgetary woes. But some bullets are better than others. We will always have to be aware of tax creep, corruption, and bureaucratic expansion, but that depends on an informed and active citizenry.

Rumi

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DIYSteve
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 10:48 am 
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Gregory wrote:
Why is the income tax the answer?

It's the only answer to the question "how do we address the fact that WA has the most regressive taxation scheme of all 50 states?" State income tax is not the answer to any question if you favor highly regressive taxation that places an undue burden on the working class, the poor and small businesses.

Time will tell whether the effort to levy a small state capital gains tax on the wealthiest WA-ians will succeed. Even if it does, all that money will go to fund education as required by the McCleary decision.

The McCleary decision is the elephant in the room. User fees will continue.
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Mar 12, 2018 10:50 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
We will now hear how regressive our tax system is, I bet.

Yup, some comments induce others to discuss facts
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treeswarper
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PostTue Mar 13, 2018 7:22 am 
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DIYSteve wrote:
treeswarper wrote:
We will now hear how regressive our tax system is, I bet.

Yup, some comments induce others to discuss facts

Read again.  I stated that my post was not based on facts.  It is my opinion.  If people feel our sales tax is too hard on them, they have a choice to tone down their consumerism.  They can move somewhere else that has an income tax-- Somewhere they can wrongly assume that snowplowing and trail maintenance magically happen, or should be paid for by everybody except for them.

We've successfully voted down every attempt to have the joys of an income tax.  I hope that continues. 

Tell me this, Steve.  If an income tax was put on us,  do you really think that the sales tax would go away?

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MtnGoat
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PostTue Mar 13, 2018 10:25 am 
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If by equitably you mean the people getting the most state services pay the least for them, yes an income tax is the ideal method for this kind of 'equitable'.

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Forum Index > Stewardship > WTA - A Better Way for Recreation Passes?
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