House budget address state tax system’s unfairness

The single best decision I’ve made in my life was to enroll at the University of Washington fresh out of a New Jersey high school way back in 1969. From that 3,000-mile relocation ensued a valuable education, a great marriage, a deeply satisfying fatherhood, a rewarding career in urban planning and what I expect to be Washington residency to my final breath.

I remain smitten with Washington after all these years. I love sailing its waters and cycling its byways. I love the yin and yang of its abundant western and eastern natural splendors. I love the growing diversity of its population and how new cultural threads strengthen our statewide fabric. And I love the fact that we, as a state governed by and for the people, have stood strongly for human rights for all those desiring to live here.

Many share this multi-faceted affection, of course. But as much as we may love our state, we need to acknowledge that there’s inequity in Paradise. And we need to do something about it.

Families in our state earning less than $21,000 annually pay 16.8 percent of their income in taxes, while the wealthiest families pay only 2.4 percent in taxes. In other words, our working families are taxed at a rate up to seven times higher than what the richest households pay. That makes Washington’s tax code the most upside-down in the nation in terms of equity.

The proposed Democratic House budget recognizes this imbalance and endeavors to clean up the tax code via measures to reduce the number and size of allowances, exemptions and other breaks special interests have carved out for themselves over the years. As one example, the proposed budget would close a loophole currently allowing avoidance of taxes on certain capital gains. This measure by itself would generate almost $1 billion annually for education, infrastructure and other expenditures directly benefiting Washington citizens.

Special interests seek special protections; it’s what they do, as the insurance company commercials say. But I’d like to think that the interests of Washington wage earners and their kids are pretty special, too, and the proposed Democratic House budget ensures that they are given the respect and attention they deserve.

Please let your legislator know you support the Democratic House budget proposal.

Bill Wiselogle

Bothell

Talk to us

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Feb. 5

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein received this card, by mail at her Everett home, from the Texas-based neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front.  The mail came in June, a month after Muhlstein wrote about the group's fliers being posted at Everett Community College and in her neighborhood.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)





(Dan Bates / The Herald)
Editorial: Treat violent extremism as the disease it is

The state Attorney General urges a commission to study a public health response to domestic terrorism.

Demonstrators gather during a protest in Times Square on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in New York, in response to the death of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police during a traffic stop. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)
Comment: Special police units an invitation to abusive tactics

To crack down on street crime, Memphis and other cities allow officers to use excessive force.

Don’t dig hole any deeper; vote yes for Marysville schools

Apathy and lack of support has consequences. Misunderstandings and digging in heals… Continue reading

Herald bet on wrong horse with postal delivery

The post office delivery of The Herald is working for me. I… Continue reading

Your support helps Kitty Young Auxiliary aid county’s youths

On behalf of Kitty Young Auxiliary (a part of Assistance League of… Continue reading

toon
Editorial cartoons for Saturday, Feb. 4

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Photo Courtesy The Boeing Co.
On September 30, 1968, the first 747-100 rolled out of Boeing's Everett factory.
Editorial: What Boeing workers built beyond the 747

More than 50 years of building jets leaves an economic and cultural legacy for the city and county.

Marysville School District Superintendent Zac Robbins, who took his role as head of the district last year, speaks during an event kicking off a pro-levy campaign heading into a February election on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at the Marysville Historical Society Museum in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Voters have role in providing strong schools

A third levy failure for Marysville schools would cause even deeper cuts to what students are owed.

Most Read