Schmudget Blog

The Choice is Clear: Washington State Families or an Out-of-State Tax Break?

Posted by Kim Justice at Feb 13, 2013 08:45 PM |

Policymakers can keep a  promise to more than 400,000 hard-working Washington state families, by closing a tax loophole for out-of-state shoppers and using the money to finally fund the Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR).

That’s the idea behind legislation introduced today (House Bill 1890) that would refund up to $206 in state retail sales taxes paid by people working at low-wage jobs in Washington state. To pay for the refund, the legislation would close a loophole that allows shoppers from other states to avoid paying sales taxes on purchases they make here.

The Working Family Tax Rebate has been law since 2008, but it has never been implemented because lawmakers have never funded it. The rebate is a vital supplement that would primarily benefit families with children, and only working families.

The Working Families Tax Rebate is based on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a highly successful tool for helping families move into the middle class that is particularly beneficial to children. Putting more money into the pockets of modest-income families helps boost a child’s overall well-being, leading to better health, more schooling, more hours worked later in life, and higher earnings in adulthood. 

As the graphic below shows, that has proven to be the case with the EITC, and the Working Families Tax Rebate would work the same way.

 

education outcomes

 

Let’s get our priorities straight.  Washington state’s working families need  a tax break more than shoppers from out-of-state.

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2015-17 Legislative Agenda

Our 2015-17 Legislative Agenda calls for an equitable and sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that will promote a world-class education system, sustain a strong, inclusive middle class, produce high quality, living wage jobs, and ensure equal opportunity to live healthy and productive lives.  Take a closer look here.

Budget Matters 2014

Thank you to those who made Budget Matters 2014 a success! Stay tuned for pictures, video clips and PowerPoints from this year's conference.

Legislative Testimony

Senior Budget Analyst Kim Justice recently testified before Senate Ways and Means against a bill that would fund education at the expense of other budget investments. Watch it here. 

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