At Town Halls, urge state legislators to fix upside-down tax system

(March 13, 2019) — After today’s cutoff deadline for bills to pass their houses of origin, many Washington state legislators will be returning to their legislative districts and holding Town Hall meetings to update constituents about the session and answer questions.

Mark your calendar right now to attend your local Town Hall and ask, “What are you going to do to fix our state’s upside-down tax code?”

Washington state is the WORST state in the nation in terms of forcing its poorest residents to pay so much in taxes. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) reports that we have the most regressive tax systems, in which poor residents pay much higher shares of their income (17.8 percent) in taxes than the wealthiest (just 3%). It’s a far larger gap than any other state.

It’s time to stop kicking the can down the road. As state legislators begin debating the biennial budget in earnest, there are a number of proposals on the table to start fixing out unfair tax code, including closing the capital gains tax break on sales of stocks/bonds and other special interest tax loopholes; reforming the Real Estate Excise Tax to make it more progressive so the sale of less expensive homes are taxed less and the sale of the most expensive homes are taxed more; and modernizing and expanding the state’s Working Families Tax Credit, our state’s version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, refunding some of the sales taxes low- and middle-income Washingtonians pay.

Check out the list of Town Hall meetings compiled by the Balance Our Tax Code coalition. If you don’t see your district listed, check out Town Hall lists posted by the House Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans.

Mark your calendar to attend your legislative Town Hall meeting and ask your legislators what they are going to do to restore tax fairness in our state.

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