I’m a longtime resident of Washington’s 1st Legislative District, and this week I attended a town hall with Sen. Guy Palumbo and Reps. Derek Stanford and Shelley Kloba. A highlight of the afternoon was when my representatives expressed support for a carbon tax and for revising our business and occupation tax, which Senator Palumbo said was as regressive as the rest of our tax system, penalizing small businesses and giving large corporations with lobbyists tax breaks and special exemptions.
Sen. Palumbo is right – Washington state’s tax system is upside down. We actually have the most regressive tax structure of any state in the country. We rely too much on sales tax and the backs of small business owners while special interests take advantage of almost 700 tax breaks they’ve manipulated into the tax code. If people pay what they owe, we could have the resources to invest in the foundations that benefit all of us, like excellent schools, good infrastructure, and quality healthcare. When the Senate and House release their budgets, I hope they consider Senator Palumbo’s B&O tax proposal, and I encourage all three of my representatives to advocate for new systems of revenue, like a carbon tax, a capital gains tax, and closing loopholes so that we can fix our upside down tax code.
We need a healthy budget that invests in our schools, protects the most vulnerable and supports strong women and strong families.
Linda Tosti-Lane, Brier