Budget Passes…More Work Needed!
At the final hour, Washington state legislators avoided a shutdown but settled short of what will be needed to sustain our schools and communities in the long run.
Sound Alliance’s ally, the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, offered up this excellent analysis of the final deal. Some highlights:
- Lawmakers closed a few tax breaks but extended or created 13 new loopholes.
- There were some short-term changes to property taxes that will affect lower and middle-income people in both positive and negative ways, depending on where they live.
- Lawmakers missed an opportunity to eliminate the wasteful tax break for those who profit from high-end financial assets (capital gains).
- Schools will be funded for now, but it is a short-term solution.
In the end, they find that there is “good reason to think the plan will, on balance, make Washington’s tax code more inequitable. That’s a concern, considering Washington state already has the most upside-down tax code in the nation, with low- and middle-income households paying up to seven times more in state and local taxes as a share of their incomes than those at the top of the income scale.”
The bottom line? “There’s still a lot more to do to clean up the tax code and provide the kind of resources that make world-class schools and thriving communities possible.”
We agree! The Sound Alliance’s plan is to start with holding briefings in our member institutions so that more of our members are informed and ready to take action. If you are interested in holding a briefing in your institution, contact Dorothy Gibson, Sound Alliance Organizer.