Want to pay more? Be his guest.

State Sen. Don Benton has a suggestion for voters who feel the urge to give Washington state government a helping hand — but aren’t sold on a proposed state income tax on the wealthy.

He put his tongue-in-cheek legislation out there for discussion this past week after Bill Gates Sr. , father of the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, announced that he would launch an initiative campaign to impose a 5 percent income tax on couples with incomes in excess of $400,000 and individuals who make more than $200,000. Advocates say it would raise about $1 billion a year for education and health care.

Benton suggests that those motivated to give extra money to the state check out his “Taxpayer Choice Act.” The two-page bill, introduced April 7 during the Legislature’s special session, would create a special account in the state treasury to receive unsolicited cash and other assets, giving taxpayers a “convenient way” to contribute without adding to the tax burden of the rest of us.

Benton, R-Vancouver, is running for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Patty Murray.

Kathie Durbin

Scroll to top