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President’s Budget Would Harm Washingtonians, Leave State on the Hook for Massive Costs

President’s Budget Would Harm Washingtonians, Leave State on the Hook for Massive Costs

Posted by Julie Watts, 2017-05-23 19:05:00 | (0) Comments
Statement by Executive Director Misha Werschkul:
 
The federal budget proposal released by President Trump would give massive tax cuts to the rich by cutting important programs that help lift people out of poverty and help people struggling to make ends meet. On the chopping block are critical services like Medicaid, food assistance, and basic support for people with disabilities. This “Robin Hood in reverse” proposal would hurt the wellbeing of our communities while lining the pockets of the wealthy and special interests. It should be rejected by Congress.
  
Far too many American families are just one accident or personal catastrophe away from financial collapse. The federal government needs to make sure that when people hit hard times they do not go without the basics. However, the president’s budget would cut $2.5 trillion from poverty-reduction programs in the United States over the next decade. That funding would help pay for huge tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.


In Washington state, the proposed federal budget proposal would leave lawmakers on the hook for finding billions of dollars in additional funding over the next decade to make up for cuts in federal programs for states. For example, it would:

Important Gains Have Been Made for a Better Future for Our State, but More Needs to Be Done

Important Gains Have Been Made for a Better Future for Our State, but More Needs to Be Done

Posted by Julie Watts, 2017-05-02 14:45:00 | (0) Comments

Washington’s elected leaders have an opportunity to ensure that all our residents have strong communities and the chance for a bright future. During the 2017 regular legislative session, state policymakers did pass some important bills – some of which are priorities for the Budget & Policy Center – to advance the wellbeing of Washingtonians. They include expanding access to early learning, enhancing educational opportunities for working parents, and supporting policies that would help reduce disparities in K-12 education. Yet they also left some very important policy decisions on the table to be worked out in the final budget.

The following highlights of key victories from the legislative session are great examples of what can be done to advance progress for working families for our state. As state policymakers move into a special session to negotiate the budget, they should build on these efforts to ensure the final budget secures a better future for all our residents.

Hedge Funds vs. Mom-and-Pops: The Truth about Small Businesses and Closing the Capital Gains Tax Break

Hedge Funds vs. Mom-and-Pops: The Truth about Small Businesses and Closing the Capital Gains Tax Break

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-04-27 16:50:00 | (0) Comments
By Andy Nicholas, associate director of fiscal policy, and Kelli Smith, policy analyst
 
Small businesses thrive when colleges and trade schools, transportation infrastructure, job training, technological research, and other economic pillars are strong. In Washington state, lawmakers can generate more than $700 million per year in new resources for these and other investments that strengthen small businesses by eliminating a massive state tax break on capital gains, which are profits from the sale of corporate stocks, bonds, gold bars, and other high-end financial assets. As we’ve written previously, this tax break overwhelmingly benefits the richest 1 percent of Washington state residents. Closing this tax break, as state Democratic House leaders are smartly proposing, would have little impact on most genuine small businesses, as they very rarely receive capital gains as part of their ordinary business activities.
 

Special interests that are opposed to closing the tax break on capital gains misleadingly claim that the House’s proposal would harm small, individually- or family-owned businesses, such as restaurants, auto repair shops, gas stations, and family farms. In reality, this common and sympathetic perception of small business owners is being exploited to shield ultra-wealthy shareholders and partners in investment hedge funds, shell corporations, and other elite financial arrangements from paying higher taxes.

Statement on President Trump’s Tax Proposal

Statement on President Trump’s Tax Proposal

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn, 2017-04-27 13:45:00 | (0) Comments
By Misha Werschkul, executive director
While the tax plan released by President Trump currently lacks key details, it appears to build on previous proposals to provide massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while doing very little for the middle class.
 

We can’t get something for nothing: More tax cuts for the wealthy will have to be paid for by growing the deficit or by more cuts to critical federal programs like health care, emergency response services, and child care for working families. 

Lack of a State Capital Gains Tax Means Wealthiest 1 Percent Get a Huge Tax Break in Washington State

Lack of a State Capital Gains Tax Means Wealthiest 1 Percent Get a Huge Tax Break in Washington State

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-04-19 17:45:00 | (0) Comments
By Andy Nicholas, associate director of fiscal policy
 

Currently, our state tax code caters to the wealthiest Washingtonians by giving them generous tax breaks on their capital gains – which are the profits they make from the sale of corporate stocks, bonds, gold bars, and other high-end financial assets. Such financial assets are exempt not only from state and local sales taxes, but also from property taxes, and most business & occupation (B&O) taxes. The simplest and most equitable way to effectively close these state tax breaks is to enact a state excise tax on high-end capital gains. Doing so would generate substantial new resources for Washington state’s schools and other investments that foster thriving communities. Eliminating the tax breaks on profits from capital assets in this way would represent a significant step toward turning Washington’s inequitable, upside-down tax code – in which people with low incomes pay seven times as much in state and local taxes as a share of income as the wealthiest 1 percent – right-side-up.

HIGHLIGHTS

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Watch Our Budget Beat Webinars

We host regular Budget Beat webinars throughout legislative session to bring you updates and breaking news from Olympia and timely policy analysis. Visit our YouTube channel to watch our previous Budget Beats. 

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team is in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our recent testimonies on TVW:
Misha TVW

View Our School Funding Plenary 

Roxana_BMC_plenary_2016View the Budget Matters 2016 conference plenary, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond." Moderated by Ann Dornfeld of KUOW, the plenary features Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year; Lew Moore of the Washington Research Council; Roxana Norouzi of OneAmerica; and Sen. Christine Rolfes. The plenary starts after an intro by Executive Director Misha Werschkul and an intro video by Gov. Inslee.