Economic justice

Inslee signs economic justice law to help working families | by the WA governor’s office | Washington State Governor’s Office

Governor on Tuesday signed working family tax credit and capital gains excise tax in Tukwila

Governor Jay Inslee today signed an economic justice legislative package, including the Working Families Tax Credit and the Capital Gains Excise Tax, which begins the process to make the system taxable Washington reversed more just and more equitable.

“It’s a day when Washington State begins to make progress in making our reverse tax system fairer and more equitable” Inslee said Tuesday. “Today, we are taking action to remedy this outdated system where working families pay a much higher percentage of their income than those who earn much more.”

The governor signed the package at the Tukwila community center surrounded by lawmakers, local elected officials and community groups.

“With Tukwila recognized as one of the most diverse cities in our state and whose families have been affected by economic hardship, it is with great satisfaction that Governor Inslee signs bills on economic justice in our state. city ​​”, Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg said. “It is so important that every resident has an economic opportunity to earn a living. “

Currently, low-income Washingtonians pay 17% of their income in taxes, while middle-class people pay 11% and the richest pay only 3%. Capital gains excise tax legislation will begin to straighten this upside down tax structure.

The capital gains excise tax on extraordinary profits was first proposed 10 years ago by the Washington State Budget & Policy Center. The governor first introduced the tax in 2014. With the governor’s signature, Washington joins 41 other states and the District of Columbia in taxing capital gains. It is estimated that less than a quarter of a percent (0.23%) of Washingtonians will pay the tax.

“Together, the capital gains excise tax and the working family tax refund are an important first step towards balancing our regressive tax code and supporting the economic well-being of working families.” in all corners of our State ”, said Noel Frame, chairman of the House finance committee. “We are asking the wealthiest Washingtonians to share in the responsibility of financing the needs of our communities and putting money back in the pockets of low-income families. Not only that, but investments in child care and education will support economic recovery and support the success of Washington children.

The governor also signed a law to implement and extend the tax credit for working families. By funding the tax credit for working families, the state will finally fulfill a promise made by lawmakers, which established the tax credit years ago but did not fully fund it at the time. .

“The tax exemption for working families is the first step in correcting our regressive tax code. It recognizes the contributions of low-income workers, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees who bear the greatest burden in sustaining our state’s economy, especially during the crisis ”, The godfather of the house, representative My-Linh Thai, said. “He promises a government that works for people who have not been allowed to create wealth in a country full of opportunity. This bill is a commitment to honor those who make our communities strong. This law is a law that puts people first. “

The tax credit will provide a financial boost to approximately 500,000 families across the state. This will give Washingtonians working hard to make ends meet additional financial security.

“This policy is an important step in helping our neighbors across the state”, senator joe Nguyen, who sponsored the Senate legislation, said. “Putting money back into our system by supporting families during a time of so much need is not only the right thing to do, but it will also help alleviate the inequalities that have been exposed over the past year. It’s smart politics that puts people ahead of politics and a big step forward for our state. “

The governor named the bill after Tony Lee, a longtime advocate of tax fairness for low-income families, who died last year. In addition to Lee, countless individuals and coalitions have worked together and with lawmakers to right the state’s regressive tax code.

“I want to thank all of the individuals, groups and workers involved for their hard work and years of effort on this very important piece of legislation which will help many Washingtonians,” Inslee said.

Organizations, coalitions and legislators who have worked for this legislation:

Tax credit for working families

  • Statewide Poverty Action Network
  • Washington State Center for Budget and Policy.
  • MomsRising.
  • SEIU 775.
  • Washington fuse.
  • Metro Seattle Urban League.
  • A coalition of over 40 organizations that includes faith groups, direct service providers, immigrant and refugee advocates, labor unions and economic justice advocates.
  • Representatives My-Linh Thai and Noel Frame, and the Senses. Joe Nguyen and Rebecca Saldaña.

Capital Gains Excise Tax (5096)

  • Balance our tax code and the more than 65 organizations that have spoken out in favor of this policy in this legislative session – including advocates for investments in child care and early learning, advocates for economic justice and racial and the people who would pay the tax and support it to build a better future for all.
  • Everything for Washington and leaders of communities of color like the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance, OneAmerica and the Washington Community Alliance.
  • Invest in Washington now.
  • Representative Noel Frame and Senator June Robinson.

One of the biggest advocates for the legislation over the past decade has been Misha Werschkul, executive director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center.

“For far too long, we have funded public goods like schools and parks by asking the most of those who have the least while the richest Washingtonians get a special deal,” he added. said Werschkul. “This year we are finally starting to change that. Together, these two landmark pieces of legislation represent the biggest improvement to Washington state’s tax code in at least 90 years.

The legislation will have real impacts on the lives of people like Patty Liu, an activist for MomsRising.

“It’s personal to me. Full-time childcare for my two children costs more than our combined house and car payments. Even with a good job, my salary barely covered the cost,” Liu said. “This pandemic has not caused these problems, it has only bared everyone to see what we Moms, and especially Moms of Color, have known for a long time. The system we have now is not working. And when child care doesn’t work, neither do we.


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