WA State legislature proposes new revenues

Last week, state Senate leaders proposed a revenue plan that includes a temporary sales tax increase, as well as a permanent capital gains tax that would be dedicated to education funding. If passed in Olympia, the proposals will go to voters for approval. Solid Ground supports these revenue-generating bills through the advocacy of our Statewide Poverty Action Network.

New revenue proposals in the WA State legislature would raise taxes on investment income as well as temporarily increase sales tax. Funding the 2008 Working Families Tax Rebate will mitigate the impact of the sales tax increase on working class people.

The capital gains tax, HB 2563, affects only high-income earners because it taxes non-wage income, such as that gained from stocks and bonds. Its revenue is earmarked for education, including scholarships and grants for low-income and first-generation college students, educational support services and K-12 education.

While we support the temporary sales tax increase, we also know that is it regressive, which means that it affects low-income people more than it does high-income earners. The Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR) offsets the sales tax increase by refunding a portion of our regressive state sales tax to over 350,000 families. In 2008, Poverty Action helped pass this rebate, but it has been languishing without funding since then.

The WFTR would allow our state to raise funds for programs that help thousands of residents meet their basic needs, while mitigating the effects of the sales tax increase on low-income communities.

Lawmakers need to hear from you today! Urge your Representatives and Senator to support HB 2563 to make education a priority, and support funding for the Working Families Tax Rebate to mitigate the effects of regressive tax measures on middle and low-income workers in Washington.

You can email them directly from Poverty Action’s website.

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