Last night, King County Democrats narrowly voted down a “resolution to cut corporate tax exemptions rather than cutting school funding”. [Here is a link to the resolution, by David Spring: http://fairschoolfundingcoalition.org/joomla/.]
The purpose of the proposed resolution is to support elimination of tax breaks for corporations earning north of $1 billion, and use that money to fill the State’s $500 million gap in the current biennium, which is penciled in to be filled by delaying the June payment to schools, which is about $500 million.
“Whereas corporate tax exemptions for Microsoft are about $200 million per year and tax exemptions for Boeing are about $300 million per year”
The $500 million from Microsoft and Boeing would come not from a new tax, but from the elimination of tax breaks for the two giants which other Washington corporations do not enjoy. $500 million represents less than 2.5% of the combined profits of Microsoft and Boeing. According to the author of the resolution, Microsoft and Boeing would not be harmed financially because the taxes could be deducted from their Federal tax bill, the result being not a transfer of money from Boeing and Microsoft to the State, but a transfer from the Federal Government to the State.
We simply cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and at the expense of our schools, while asking absolutely nothing from the richest individuals and corporations, which are faring better than ever.
Our State is 49th in the nation in per-capita spending on education. That is a disgrace and an affront to the “paramount duty” of the Legislature as proscribed by the State’s Constitution.
The resolution variously failed because it was too specific, too vague, poorly worded, and wasn’t properly vetted.
Hopefully it will be tweaked and adopted next month. But of course that is as far as it will go. The truth is, the State’s “paramount duty” has been openly and shamelessly usurped by the duty to serve the wealthiest among us.