Guest opinion: Is state capital gains tax back on the table?

The resignation of Guy Palumbo from the state Senate gives progressive Democratic lawmakers a clearer path to a capital gains tax, one of the few political peaks they failed to summit in the 2019 session.

Will they take it is a question to be mulled these next few months.

Palumbo was among a quartet of the 28-member Senate Democratic caucus unwilling to support such a tax. Without those four votes, all ideas were destined to die.

The Maltby Democrat quit May 24 and Rep. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, announced Tuesday, May 28, he wants to fill the seat in the 1st District. If he gets the gig — and he’s a favorite — it changes the equation.

Stanford, a data science consultant, is not averse to a capital gains tax which House Democrats have put out there a few times in his five terms, including this year.

One suspects a change of chambers won’t alter his attitude. Thus he’d be positioned to cast the pivotal 25th vote for passage in the Senate — presuming Democrats will be still interested in making this dangerous political trek in 2020, an election year.

On June 9, Democratic precinct committee officers will meet to nominate three people to fill the vacancy. Their names will be sent to the Snohomish and King County councils which will appoint someone to serve the district, which straddles Snohomish and King counties encompassing Bothell, Mountlake Terrace and part of Kirkland.

In the meantime, Palumbo’s departure also could add this controversial tax to the mix of a special legislative contest this November.

State Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, is seeking to keep the 40th District seat to which she was appointed earlier this year. She’s all in on this potential source of revenue. She co-sponsored a capital gains tax that received a hearing in the the Senate Ways and Means Committee but was never a threat of being voted on.

While this is a pretty safe district for Democrats, taxes are an easy line of attack for her Republican challenger. And if either of the two Democrats in the primary are wary of the tax, they might bring it up as well.

Contact The Herald (Everett) columnist Jerry Cornfield at 360-352-8623, jcornfield@herald net.com or on Twitter, @dospueblos.

More in Opinion

Think About It: Nonsensical

“Nonsensical” is the musical way of saying something is nonsense, ridiculous, absurd… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Brighter future for papermakers

In recent years, papermakers in Pacific Northwest have been losing ground. However,… Continue reading

Being Frank: Pollution-based economy cannot be sustained

On April 16, as the coronavirus attacked communities across Washington, the U.S.… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Coronavirus, work must coexist

By now it is apparent that, barring a miracle, a cure for… Continue reading

Water Matters: Raised consciousness

As a “non-essential,” mostly-office worker, I’ve been in a lot of Zoom… Continue reading

Guest column: Back to the wild, in a whole new outdoor recreation world

Exploring the outdoors feeds our souls and helps keep us healthy, when… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Unemployment payments provide necessary cushion for jobless Americans

America’s unemployment rate is suddenly approaching historic levels. Since the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

From the Back Nine: The Timekeeper

By Linda B. Myers For the Sequim Gazette I live with my… Continue reading

Think About It: The eyes have it

“Bertha? Is that you?” The question came from the person standing at… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Apples, potato keys to post coronavirus recovery

Our state is blessed with some of the most creative people and… Continue reading

Aging Successfully: Putting our affairs in order

This time of self-isolation is the perfect time to put our affairs… Continue reading

Think About It: Conflicting thoughts in small spaces

“In nursing (and medicine), the worst outcome is death.” This quote came… Continue reading