. . . which would have introduced a state income tax on the top 1 percent of earners (more here). Voters defeated the measure 65 to 35 percent, with close to 60 percent of the votes counted.
Washington is currently one of seven states without an income tax. Labor unions campaigned aggressively for the measure, as did Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. However, most of Washington’s prominent business leaders, including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, were against the measure.
Several weeks ago, Texas governor Rick Perry sent letters to nearly 100 top employers and business associations in Washington State urging those worried about potential tax hikes to move to Texas.
It would be a sad irony indeed if the same voters who rejected I-1098 end up sending Sen. Patty Murray (D), who opposes extending the Bush tax cuts across all income levels, back to the Senate. But as Joshua Culling, state-affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform, pointed out in an interview, “Actually voting to raise [your own] taxes is a lot different than voting for a liberal legislator.”
Murray currently holds a two-point lead over Republican Dino Rossi, but we are unlikely to know the final result until Wednesday or Thursday.