To the editor:
Lawmakers in Olympia plan to balance the tax system in Washington state. The effect will be to increase my taxes and those of a small number of other taxpayers. I think it’s the right thing to do.
A Senate proposal taxes capital gains above $250,000 and creates a Working Families Tax Credit to help low-income families. It exempts retirement accounts and the sale of homes and small businesses, so only about 0.2 percent of the state’s wealthiest households would pay.
The problem Olympia wants to solve? Washington’s unbalanced tax code. I pay a six times smaller share of my income in taxes than our lowest-income families. Washington is one of the few states without a tax on stocks, bonds and other assets, and implementing one for high earners helps square what I’m asked to contribute with that of low- and middle-income residents.
Our region needs investment to keep it one of the great places to live. My family and I would benefit from a flourishing state-wide education system that makes Washington a center of innovation, adequate health care, and day-to-day infrastructure like a strong ferry service. I want to live in a community in which everyone thrives, not just the affluent, and we should adjust our revenue and spending system to get there.
A capital gains tax in Washington would be paid by a very small group of people, and, importantly, by those with the most ability to pay.
As one of the few who would pay, I believe it’s time for us all to do our part. Let’s make things right.