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Originally published Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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Initiative 1098: The eyes of Texas are upon us

The Seattle Times editorial board thanks Texas Gov. Rick Perry for inviting Washington employers to move to his state and remind Washington voters to defeat Initiative 1098, which would impose a state income tax.

DEAR Gov. Rick Perry: Thank you for inviting Washington employers to move their companies to Texas because it "has no personal income tax, and there's no interest in getting one." We appreciate the letters you sent. We really do.

They were personal letters, though the text of the ones we've seen is all the same, which is a mite tacky of you. Bad staff work, we'd say. Anyway, the letters, personal or not, are now public, and they remind voters that imposing a state income tax would hurt the economy of Washington.

By becoming public, your letters have backfired. By shining a spotlight on Initiative 1098, your letters will help defeat the state income tax and keep our employers here.

Thanks a bunch, Rick.

Since your letter was full of drumbeating for your state, let us do a rat-tat-tat for ours. Washington is a very competitive state. We would not have Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Costco and many other innovative companies if it were not.

As a measure of business climate, Forbes has just ranked Texas seventh among the 50 states. That's pretty good, Rick, not as good as Washington. We're No. 5, because we have a better-educated work force than you, a more business-friendly tort system than you, and other advantages.

Texas and Washington both attract people by having no additional tax on wages, salaries and capital gains. No doubt this state's No. 5 ranking by Forbes would drop if our voters passed I-1098 and imposed such a tax on themselves.

We hope they vote no on I-1098. If they do, a little bit of the reason will have been the letters you wrote our CEOs.

Thanks again, Rick.

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