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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Watch the Poverty Forum Video

If you missed the half-day Poverty Forum that we co-hosted with Partners for Our Children in May 2016, you can watch it on YouTube now. It features a range of speakers and panelists talking about policy solutions for addressing income inequality and poverty in our state.

Our Legislative Agenda

Our agenda for the 2015-2017 biennium calls for an equitable, sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that: promote a world-class education system; sustain a strong middle class; produce living-wage jobs, and ensure that all Washingtonians have equal opportunity to get ahead. 

Testimonies in Olympia

We testified in support of a number of important bills during the 2016 legislative session. Take a look:

  • Our testimony (at the 23:23 minute mark) on the House Bill that would take a two-generation approach to preventing poverty 
  • Our testimony (at the 1:54:09 mark) on the House bill focused on aerospace-related tax breaks
  • Our House testimony (at the 9:25 mark) and Senate testimony (at the 1:44:54 mark) on the two-generation approach to poverty prevention bill 

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