The Movement for a Wealth Tax in Washington State

Forwarded from Geraldine Maslanka. By Chuck Collins
This piece appeared on the inequality.org website with the heading:

Legislators in Washington state are taking bold steps towards instituting a state-level wealth tax. The proposed tax is a 1 percent levy on wealth over $1 billion, applying to fewer than 100 households in the state.

According to the state’s Department of Revenue, the tax would raise an estimated $2.25 billion in 2023 and $2.5 billion in 2024. At a February 2 hearing, House Finance Committee chair Noel Frame said it’s time to put a new “tool in the toolbox for comprehensive structural tax reform.” The state’s current tax system places an enormous burden on Washington’s working class.

At the February 2 virtual hearing, over 40 witnesses lined up to testify in support of HB1406, an act to “improve the equity of Washington state’s tax code” by creating a wealth tax and “taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets.”

Many witnesses pointed out that Washington state has one of the most regressive tax systems in the country, with no income tax, a weak corporate tax system, and an overdependence on sales taxes. “Low income families pay 18 percent of their income in taxes while the very wealthy pay less than 3 percent,” observed John Burbank from the Economic Opportunity Institute in his testimony.

“This state is a wonderful place to raise a family and to plant roots,” said Mary Curry, a Tacoma resident and owner of a day care center, in testimony before the committee. “But how do I build when the tax laws are so harsh to the working class such as myself?”

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in Tax Reform, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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