WA’s Tax Code is Wildly Unfair. Here’s Why.

Wednesday’s meeting on our state’s upside-down tax code was very informative. We hope you were there to benefit. Steve Kelly and Lynn McDonald, representing All in For Washington, helped us better understand where our taxes come from, what they are used for, who pays them and who hardly does.

What an eye opener! Our state has the most regressive tax code in the nation — ranking 50th out of the 50 states — which means that those with the lowest income pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than do those having high incomes. In our state that’s 17% compared to less than 3%. Worst in the country! Definitely not a fair system.

Unlike neighboring states, our state government is funded by a combination of state and local sales tax, state and local property tax, and the business and occupations tax, mostly based on what we buy and what we own. Oregon and Idaho tax earnings, as well. We have a constitutional prohibition on taxing income and earnings.

People with lower incomes spend a greater percentage of their income on sales and business taxes than do people with higher incomes. So, those who have the least pay the most and those who have the most pay the least.

To make matters worse, the total amount of taxes we pay don’t supply enough revenue to properly fund the programs and obligations of the state. Education is underfunded with a court order deadline dead ahead. Mental health programs and institutions are underfunded with legal cases likely to lead to similar court mandates soon. Homelessness is at or near epidemic levels. If nothing changes, we are headed for serious fiscal problems.

Visit the All in For Washington website to find ways to support their efforts to reform the tax code and to learn more about the overall problem. You’ll find several short, clear and concise videos. They are very helpful.

And mark your calendars for our May 17th Indivisible meeting, because Steve and Lynn will return to give us tips on how we can talk to our state legislators about this issue. One of the best things about their presentation is their insistence that we tie taxes to our values, that we see taxes as investments in our future and in each other’s lives. Better information makes us better advocates for change.

TrumpCare: Still Unfair and Inhumane

TrumpCare: Still Unfair and Inhumane

The latest version of Trumpcare remains patently unfair and inhumane.

This one, expected to be rolled out shortly after their Easter break (if not sooner), could easily be characterized as an attempt to “divide and conquer.”

For example, in order to lower premiums for most participants this plan will push those requiring the most expensive care into a high-risk pool. Then, perhaps as much as $15 billion will be set aside for insurers to mitigate the higher premiums certain to be charged the high-risk folks. No one yet knows how these dollars will be administered.

This is a slippery slope.

We must vehemently protest this plan. If we don’t, we can look forward to additional, special insurance pools: women of child-bearing age, persons with pre-existing conditions, smokers, people drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day. The possibilities abound. Should we acquiesce and they succeed, that same tactic will be used on subsequent issues.

This is not how a responsible government of the people, by the people and for the people acts. This is how leaders show disdain and disregard for their constituents.

We must help anyone who will listen, especially our members of congress, to understand the core values that are being attacked here: fairness and caring for our fellow Americans.

Do you want to fight for humane healthcare? Join Indivisible Tacoma.