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
HIGHLIGHTS

Budget Matters 2017 Save the Date


Save the Date!

We will host two Budget Matters policy summits this year – one in Spokane on October 31 and one in Seattle on December 6! 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. More details coming soon!

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