Treasurer McIntire proposes long-term tax reform to fund education

State Treasurer Jim McIntire today bookended Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn’s spending plan with tax reform proposal that would substantially boost state revenues while reducing local school levies. (Video here.)

At his press conference, McIntire described the plan as “a starting point to provoke a conversation.” It’s not a proposal for this year, but one that might result in a constitutional amendment for the ballot next year. His plan would raise about $7 billion in state revenue, lower local levies by $3 billion, providing for a net biennial increase of $4 billion for education.

Here’s the description from the treasurer’s web site. 

Instead of accepting an unfair and unsustainable system that hurts low income households even more and smothers our businesses, we should implement comprehensive education finance reforms by:

  • Eliminate the state property tax, lower regular property tax limits, and limit excess local school levies;
  • Set the B&O rate at 1.0 percent for business services and at Boeing’s 0.29% for all others;
  • Cut the state sales tax to 5.5 percent;
  • Creating a constitutional 5 percent flat rate income tax dedicated to education (with a $50,000 deduction for a typical family of four); and
  • Require a 3/5 vote of the legislature to make any changes to the income, sales or B&O rates.

Expect to hear a lot more about this in the coming months, if not much in the next few days.

UPDATE Seattle Times story here.