Schmudget Blog

Why the Working Families Tax Rebate would work for Washington

Posted by Lori Pfingst at Dec 01, 2011 06:50 PM |

The Working Families Tax Rebate (WFTR) is one of the most effective tools for lifting families out of poverty. And under our current revenue system, it is the only tool Washington has for reducing taxes for low income Washingtonians.

To protect essential public structures in the short-run, it is critical that policymakers raise additional revenues quickly. However, within Washington’s current tax system there are few ways to raise progressive sources of revenue.

The way to raise revenue in the short-term is to increase the sales tax by a modest amount. As we outlined yesterday, there are several advantages to raising the sales tax. Aside from being able to quickly and easily raise revenue, pairing the sales tax increase with full funding for the WFTR would more than offset the costs to lower-and moderate-income families in Washington.

The WFTR is one of the most powerful tools to promote economic security:

  • It is modeled on the highly successful federal Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the most effective policies for lifting families out of poverty;
  • It benefits families with children, who have the highest rates of poverty compared to other age groups;
  • It makes the tax system more equitable by offsetting the impact of tax increases on low income families; and
  • A large share of Washington’s low income population – at least 400,000 families – will qualify.

The WFTR does not fix all of the problems with our inadequate and broken tax system, but it is the only tool we currently have to reduce taxes for low income families.

The Budget & Policy Center has long championed reforms that will make Washington’s revenue system adequate, sustainable, and fair. Until those reforms are put in place, the sales tax increase coupled with fully funding the  WFTR are a good solution for raising revenue in the short-term and protecting public investments that will ignite our economy and improve outcomes for Washington’s children and families.

Read more about the Working Families Tax Rebate here

Document Actions

A BIG Thank You!

Thanks to our generous community, we surpassed our GiveBIG 2017 fundraising goal and raised almost $10,000! Thank you to everyone who made an investment in the Budget & Policy's work advancing policies that promote shared prosperity. If you'd still like to support us, you can always make a gift here

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.