Schmudget Blog
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.

The House revenue plan shows how to make smart, long-term investments in communities

The House revenue plan shows how to make smart, long-term investments in communities

Posted by Kelli Smith, 2017-04-14 15:12:44 | (0) Comments
By Andy Nicholas, associate director of fiscal policy, and Kelli Smith, policy analyst
 

The package of tax reforms included with the budget proposal from Democratic leaders in the Washington state House of Representatives would provide nearly $3 billion in the coming 2017-19 budget cycle in equitable, ongoing resources for schools and the other foundations that foster thriving communities. Because of these important reforms, the budget proposal from House Democratic leaders is the only sustainable two-year investment plan currently under consideration in Olympia. The House’s plan would also begin to take important steps toward flipping Washington’s inequitable, upside-down tax code right-side up.

A Q&A with Our 2016-2017 Narver Policy Fellow

A Q&A with Our 2016-2017 Narver Policy Fellow

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn, 2017-04-13 15:18:35 | (0) Comments

Asha Bellduboset just completed her Betty Jane Narver Policy Fellowship with the Budget & Policy Center. She will receive her master’s degree from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington this June – with a capstone project focused on assessing the economic impact of the Woodland Park Zoo’s educational, community outreach, and conservation programs and operations in the greater Seattle region. We checked in with her to hear more about her time with us and what her hopes are for the future.

New Research Brief: Early Learning Improves Kindergarten Readiness and Reduces Disparities for Kids of Color

New Research Brief: Early Learning Improves Kindergarten Readiness and Reduces Disparities for Kids of Color

Posted by Jennifer Tran, 2017-04-04 13:00:00 | (0) Comments

We all have a stake in making sure that from the day they’re born, kids can have the enriching experiences they need to get off to a great start in life. Quality early learning can give children the tools they need to thrive academically and emotionally throughout their entire lives. 

New Fact Sheet: Advancing Racial Equity through the Working Families Tax Rebate

New Fact Sheet: Advancing Racial Equity through the Working Families Tax Rebate

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn, 2017-04-03 14:50:17 | (0) Comments
By Asha Bellduboset, Narver fellow
 
It’s time for Washington state to have an equitable tax code. Currently, it disproportionately relies on people with low incomes while giving the wealthiest people tax breaks. That’s just upside down. What’s more, those most heavily burdened by our upside-down tax code are people with low incomes, many of whom are people of color. The Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR) is an important tool to help turn our tax code right-side up and to help undo the systemic inequities that have created an uneven playing field for people of color.

The Washington state legislature enacted the WFTR in 2008, but it was never funded. It is one of the most effective ways Washington can work to correct our state’s reliance on regressive sales taxes that overburden lower-income families. The rebate uses the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, a powerful anti-poverty tool, as a basis for eligibility. The WFTR would provide qualifying low-wage workers with an annual boost to their income in the form of a tax credit.

HIGHLIGHTS

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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.