Panel: We Should Be Taxing the Rich More. Why Aren’t We Taxing the Rich More?

4 mins read

Stephan, Will, and Shasti talk this week about how progressive taxation seems to be having a moment, both on national stage, with Elizabeth Warren and Pramila Jayapal’s Wealth Tax Act, and also here in WA, with a number of progressive bills that have an actual shot in the legislature.

Guest: Rich Smith, writer for The Stranger

Calls to Action:

Working Family Tax Credit HB 1297 is scheduled to get a vote in the House on Sunday, March 7, so call or email your representative in support of it.

Suggest Script:
I’m [NAME] from [CITY]. I support HB 1297, the Working Families Tax Exemption, and urge you to vote ‘yea.’
The Working Families Tax Credit/Recovery Rebate provides direct cash assistance to the households that need it most. The Recovery Rebate builds on the success of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and makes Washington state’s version of the EITC, the Working Families Tax Credit, more equitable by: ensuring families with the lowest incomes receive more support by providing an annual cash rebate of $500 to qualifying households, plus $150 each for up to three kids; and including people who file taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), who are unjustly excluded from unemployment insurance and federal stimulus efforts. ITIN filers include undocumented immigrants, certain student visa holders, and survivors of intimate partner violence, among others.
Studies have shown that each dollar returned to low income tax filers generates up to $2.00 in local economic activity, supporting local businesses, since they are most likely to spend the money on groceries, child care, etc.
One of the main reasons people stay with an abusive partner is that they don’t have the money to support themselves or their children. Access to an additional $340 has been shown to help survivors in our state find safety and stability by covering things like car repairs needed to keep a job, or changing the locks so they can safely stay in their own home.
This bill is one of our legislative priorities this session because of the profound impact it would have on survivors’ options for safety and stability.
The Wealth Tax HB 1406 is currently in the House Finance Committee, so the action is to contact the chair, Noel Frame, and let her know you support it. She’s the author, but it helps to know that there’s public support.
And finally, support the Capital Gains tax, SB 5096, by letting your senator know that you want him or her to vote for it when it comes up for a floor vote before March 6th.

Sample Script:
Please vote yes on SB 5096 in the Senate floor vote. I support this bill because it will raise revenue which Washington State needs to provide necessary services. Washington state has the most regressive tax structure in the nation. This excise tax will target the wealthiest taxpayers and make our tax structure more equitable.
Thank you.

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