Working for a brighter future
The Washington State Budget & Policy Center works collaboratively with partner organizations, community leaders, advocates, and lawmakers to build an inclusive and equitable economy. We have led or been a part of many successes in our state, including:
- Advancing the equitable implementation of the Working Families Tax Credit and stopping short-sighted tax cuts:
In 2022, we were part of a coalition-driven effort to secure a $10 million investment in community-based outreach for the implementation of the Working Families Tax Credit. This funding will ensure that the historic new credit reaches the Washingtonians who are eligible for it in 2023 by providing information and services in a wide range of languages and communities. In addition, we helped ensure lawmakers prioritized investments in housing, education, and other public services and rejected short-sighted, broad-based tax cuts.
- Making historic progress to create a more equitable tax code and ensure the budget includes meaningful community investments:
In 2021, we were part of a broad coalition that successfully advocated for an updated Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC), which will provide a cash rebate to 420,000 households, including those that file taxes with an Individual Tax Identification (ITIN). And we helped secure the passage of the capital gains tax on extraordinary profits to raise more than $400 million per year in new revenue for investments in public schools, child care, and early learning. Both the WFTC and capital gains tax are important moves to help fix our inequitable tax code. In addition, we helped make the case for legislators to invest in an historic 15% increase in WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families monthly cash grants.
- Supporting an equitable recovery from COVID-19:
In 2020, we supported immigrant rights organizations as they led the successful push for a $60 million investment in the Washington Worker Relief Fund, which gave $1,000 emergency payments to Washingtonians who are undocumented and excluded from stimulus efforts. We successfully advocated for legislators to take actions to reverse harmful cuts to WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) so more families can access this critical lifeline when they face hard times. As part of a coalition of progressive revenue advocates, we also helped make the case for passing the JumpStart Seattle tax to generate $200 million a year in equitable revenue to fund COVID relief.
- Securing important investments in education, affordable housing, and mental health services:
In 2019, we successfully advocated for legislators to enact new revenue by making the real estate excise tax more progressive, closing outdated tax breaks, and increasing business and occupation tax rates for some large companies. These important tax reforms resulted in almost $1 billion in much-needed investments to strengthen our communities.
- Ensuring fewer kids go to school hungry:
In 2018, we helped make the case to fund Breakfast after the Bell, a program that provides breakfast to students in households with low incomes so they can better show up to class ready to learn.
- Preventing an unnecessary tax break for big manufacturers:
In 2017, we called for Governor Jay Inslee to veto a corporate giveaway that would have siphoned money out of our communities.
- Increasing wages and providing paid leave for thousands of people:
In 2016, we contributed to efforts that lead voters to pass an initiative to raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 and provide sick and safe leave – so people can make a better living and protect their well-being and that of their loved ones.
To learn more about our impact, see our coverage in the media and take a look at our 2018-2022 strategic planning framework. This framework lays out the strategies and tactics we’re using to achieve major public policy changes in order to build a better Washington state. And check out “Meeting the moment: Our impact in 2020.”
Learn how you can help us promote our policy priorities.