Senate leaders propose two crucial policies to rebalance the tax code

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March 29, 2019

Democratic leaders in the state House and the Senate released their respective budget and revenue proposals, and the Budget & Policy Center applauds the fact that both plans take essential steps to balance our worst-in-the-nation, upside-down tax code. As we noted when the House budget proposal was released, the plan to close the tax break on capital gains will pave the way for a more sustainable tax code and necessary revenue to strengthen our communities. Senate leaders have smartly followed suit with a similar proposal to close the tax break on profits from the sale of capital assets.

As legislative leaders begin negotiations toward a final budget, we call on them to create a budget that will best serve our state, its people, and our economy.

We’re especially pleased that Senate leaders are taking a crucial additional step to rebalance the tax code by proposing a modern Working Families Tax Credit. This commonsense proposal would give hundreds of thousands of working Washingtonians a cost of living boost, putting that money straight into local economies. It would also make our tax code even more equitable by reducing the share of taxes paid by low- and moderate-income households.

As legislative leaders begin negotiations toward a final budget, we call on them to create a budget that will best serve our state, its people, and our economy. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:

  • Real solutions to balance the tax code. Budget writers should close the tax break on capital gains and make our real estate excise tax more equitable, as well as closing wasteful, outdated tax breaks like the exemption for gold bullion. We also support making the tax code more equitable for low- and moderate-income Washingtonians by enacting the Working Families Tax Credit and modernizing the property tax exemptions for seniors.
  • Strong investments in our communities, including investments in public schools, health care and mental health services, child care and pre-kindergarten, and supports that help people experiencing homelessness or poverty. We also urge legislators not to cut funds that were intended to support families who need the WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to get through tough times.

Check out our press room for media coverage from all across Washington state on the Working Families Tax Credit, the capital gains tax, WorkFirst, and other key priorities of the Budget & Policy Center and our partners. And here’s a summary of media highlights on the Working Families Tax Credit.