Schmudget Blog

Carbon Program Revenues Should Invest in Working Families Tax Rebate

Posted by Elena Hernandez at Mar 13, 2015 04:15 PM |

Our policy analyst, Elena Hernandez, testified yesterday before the House Appropriations Committee in support of the Carbon Accountability Act (HB 1314). This act would put a cap on carbon pollution and require polluters to purchase carbon allowances (permits), catalyzing an economic shift toward a low-carbon economy while generating over $1 billion in new revenue for Washington state. Elena's testimony focused specifically on the Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR), one of several investments included in the carbon bill that would help communities with lower incomes. 

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is essential for the future well-being of all Washingtonians, but the effects of this transition will not be felt equally. Communities with lower incomes – a disproportionate number of whom are people of color – are the first and worst hit by both the health and economic effects of carbon pollution. They are also the least equipped to adapt to the low-carbon economy of the future. Fully funding the Working Families Tax Rebate is a step toward ensuring that in our efforts to confront climate change, we are also creating an inclusive 21st century economy.

The WFTR is Washington state's version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The benefits of the federal EITC cut across a wide array of issues, from improving equity in the tax system to reducing poverty to improving educational outcomes for kids. Policymakers can supplement the benefits of the federal EITC by funding the WFTR – which was passed in 2008, but never funded. Twenty-four states across the nation have already taken this step.  

To learn more about the Working Families Tax Rebate and its benefits, read our newly updated primer. To see how much a qualifying family can receive, take a look at the calculator below:

 

 

 
Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

Policy Summit You're InvitedSign Up and Save the Date!

We will host two Budget Matters policy summits this year – one in Spokane on October 31 (register now) and one in Seattle on December 6 (registration coming soon)! The Spokane summit, featuring Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, will focus on the impact of federal and state policy decisions on eastern Washington communities. The Seattle summit, featuring Glenn Harris of Race Forward, will examine what it would take to lift up everyone to advance progress in our state. Find out more.

Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Budget Beat!

Check out the Budget Beat webinars we hosted throughout the 2017 legislative session, including our most recent Budget Beat about federal budget proposals, featuring Louisa Warren of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on our YouTube channel

Testimonies in Olympia

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