BELLEVUE, WA – When Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, recently alerted Evergreen State gun owners about a tax limitation initiative, he anticipated opposition from tax-and-spend anti-gun liberals and their media mouthpieces, but a column in the on-line Seattle Post-Intelligencer stunned him for its hypocrisy.
Writer Joel Connelly blasted Initiative 1366, which seeks to require a two-thirds vote requirement to adopt new taxes, by complaining that it amounts to “right wing populism…fueled by deep pockets.” Connelly then singled out large contributions from individuals and organizations to support the I-1366 campaign.
“That’s odd,” Gottlieb observed, “because when Joel was writing about anti-gun Initiative 594 last year, he didn’t seem too concerned about all the big money donations that came into that campaign from billionaires including Nick Hanauer, Michael Bloomberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Paul Allen or Steve and Connie Ballmer.
“Those seven people provided nearly half of the $10 million campaign fund for I-594,” he recalled. “I guess it just matters whose ox is being gored.”
The tax measure comes ironically as Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess is proposing a new city tax on firearms and ammunition sales to finance so-called “anti-violence” efforts that are just gun control by another name. This proposal will make gun owners across the state sensitive to the subject of taxes, and that could translate to bad news for the tax-happy opponents of I-1366.
“We think the Burgess tax proposal is illegal under Washington State’s preemption law,” Gottlieb said. “We beat Seattle on another gun control measure three years ago because of the preemption statute. That law hasn’t changed, and neither, apparently, has Seattle’s anti-gun municipal attitude.
“Remember, law-abiding gun owners are also taxpayers,” he noted. “These issues affect us like every other citizen. Everybody wants to reduce their tax burden, and gun owners particularly dislike being singled out for a special gouging to support some gun control effort. They want government out of their gun safes and their wallets.”