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Capital Gains / Google

Two things of importance today:-

Capital Gains tax proposal is making it’s way through the Washington state Senate this week. Looks like it’s provisions are getting narrower, so that suggests compromise is in the works and it could pass.

What this means for Washingtonians:-

If you sell an asset and make gains of more than $250,000 as an individual and $500,000 as a couple, you will be subject to a 7% tax on the gain. Asset is mostly equities (stocks, bonds etc). Doesn’t include your house or commercial real estate for example. The Federal Government controls that one. The sale of a family-owned small business that makes less than $6 million a year would also be exempt.

I suspect this will pass the full House, as it has already passed the committee.

This is a brand new tax, rather than enhancing an existing one. After it passes, there will definitely be litigation against it with the claim that it’s unconstitutional, since the state prohibits and income tax in it’s constitution.

Most states have a form of capital gains tax, so this is not revolutionary. Given that capital gains are volatile, the annual collection could also vary widely. In the short term, asset sales may increase to avoid this tax.

On another positive note, Google said they will stop tracking us across the web using cookies or third party identifiers. Instead, they will use bread crumbs, which are more effective. OK, that last sentence was tongue in cheek. I will believe that when I really stop seeing ads for a product non stop for 10 days after I had just purchased it online. This could be momentous or a dud based on how much Google keeps to it’s promise.

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