Happy Week 7 of 15 of Washington State’s legislative session!

YouthCare is participating this week in the coalition Balance Our Tax Code’s Revenue Week of Action, which aims to raise awareness of, and advocacy surrounding, progressive revenue reform in Washington State. This week’s efforts hope to amplify youth voices and raise awareness about progressive revenue.

balance our tax code

Washington State has the most upside-down tax code in the nation. Our over-reliance on sales tax deepens inequality. Passing progressive revenue increases economic opportunity, advances racial equity, and ensures there is a strong and well-funded continuum of human services and housing options in our state.

Communities across Washington State are hurting—not just from the pandemic, but from the duel crises of economic inequality and systemic racism that are exacerbated by the inequities in our state tax code. Progressive revenue reform is a necessary first step.

“I’ve worked in progressive revenue before and this year feels really different and exciting. There’s a lot of energy and I’m really pleased to be a part of it. I’m feeling inspired!”

Emily Parzybok, Executive Director of Balance Our Tax Code

Here’s a summary of important progressive revenue bills that are still in play for this legislative session:

  • SHB 1297 – Working Families Tax Exemption: Working Families Tax Credit would provide an average $500 cash payment to working-class Washingtonians across the state. One in four Washington kids would directly benefit, helping combat poverty across race and immigration status. 
  • HB 1406 – Wealth Tax: The wealth tax would create a 1% tax only on financial intangible assets, such as publicly-traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. Investment of the revenue generated by the Washington state wealth tax would fund critical services, such as education, child care, public health, housing, and public safety. 
  • HB 1465 – Progressive Estate Tax: HB 1465 will exempt small estates, reduce estate taxes on medium estates, and increase the estate tax on larger estates. Ten percent of the revenue would be transferred into a new Equity in Housing Account, which would be used to address homelessness.
  • HB 1494 – Anti-Displacement Property Tax Exemption: HB 1494 intends to prevent more loss of real property and the displacement of working families, people of color communities, and elders by exempting a portion of tax of one’s primary residence. HB 1494 will lower the inequities of cost of homeownership and responsibility of taxation.
  • HB 1496 – High Valued Asset Tax: HB 1496 enacts an excise tax on sales and extraordinary profits of high-valued assets. The excise tax on capital gains is a tax on the one-time, voluntary sale or transfer of a capital asset, not a tax on ownership of the asset itself. This excise tax is paid only by those Washington residents who engage in such voluntary sales or transfers.
  • SSB 5096 – Capital Gains Tax: SSB 5096 would require a 7% tax on gains from the sale of stocks and bonds above $250,000, with exemptions on the sale of homes, small businesses, retirement accounts, and cattle. Passing a capital gains tax, which will be paid by only the wealthiest in Washington, is an important, meaningful first step toward balancing our tax code.

Take Action!

If you feel inspired by any or all of the above bills, reach out to your representatives and tell them why progressive revenue is important to you!

  • Click here to find your representative and their contact info.
  • Click here to view YouthCare’s 2021 State Legislative Agenda.
  • Click here to sign up for YouthCare’s Advocacy Alerts.
  • Click here to learn more about Balance Our Tax Code.