Most legislators aren’t bad people. But, being human, they react to pressure. Because the special interest lobbyists that serve the wealthiest 1% of the population are well-organized and well-paid, our legislators would get an earful if they tried to right some of the wrongs in our state.
Whose voices will the legislators hear? The lobbyists? Or yours?
Washington State has one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation — meaning that the rich pay a much lower proportion of their income in state taxes than the middle class.
Due to the lack of a state income tax, due to tax exemptions for large corporations, due to the reliance on the sales tax, and due to decades of tax cuts for the well-to-do, the wealthiest 1% of Washingtonians pay an average of 3% of their income in state taxes. The poorest 20% of Washingtonians pay over 17% of the income in state taxes. (source)
Instead of raising the regressive sales tax — which impacts the poor and the middle class the most — the legislators and the governor should eliminate some of the billions of dollars in tax exemptions that mostly benefit the rich.
If this is class war, then the rich are winning. This is not a call for socialism, it’s just a call for common sense fairness and balance.
So, call your legislators and demand tax fairness. In particular, ask them to eliminate tax exemptions instead of raising the sales tax. Ask them to support the state bank (HB2434). And ask them to support HB 2563, which would impose a 5 percent excise tax on capital gains over $10,000 a year.
You have the power. Use it!