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Will I-1098 Create the “4th Highest State Income Tax” ?

That’s the claim made by the Defeat 1098 campaign in an TV ad (YouTube) that began airing in September.

According to this analysis from the Seattle Times the ad is “half true” because it leaves out key information about who will be paying the tax and how the claim was developed.

… the ad could leave viewers with the mistaken impression that the state — broadly speaking — would have the fourth-highest income tax.

First, this income tax does not apply to middle income families; it applies only to those individuals with an annual income of more than $200,000 and couples with more than $400,000.

Second, the “4th highest” rate applies only to those individuals earning more than $500,000 a year or couples with income greater than $1 million. Income above those levels would be assessed a 9 percent tax rate.

Moreover, the state’s that have a slightly higher tax rate impose it on much lower income levels. For example, Oregon has an 11 percent income tax for earnings (individuals? families?) of more than $250,000 a year, according to the Times analysis. Hawaii’s top rate kicks in at $200,000 and California’s at $47,055 a year.

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