Paid sick days benefit everyone. Plus: pre-k programs as economic stimulus, a federal estate tax update, and an analysis of WA’s tax structure

April 8, 2009 | Alex Stone

Food Workers’ Sick Pay Would Serve The Public: Let’s step into the kitchen of your favorite restaurant for a moment. Chances are, you’ll find gleaming pots and pans and what looks to be controlled chaos, with young folks learning the ropes amid old-timers like Bill, who even in the middle of what seems like an implosion exudes calm. (Bill has a last name, but he doesn’t want it in the paper because he’d like to keep his job.) Besides his expertise with food (“I know a few things about eggs,” he says modestly), Bill is an expert at warding off a cold. And that’s important. For the nearly four decades Bill has worked in the restaurant industry, he’s never had a paid sick day. | Hartford Courant

Developmental Education: The Value of High Quality Preschool Investments as Economic Tools: This working paper is among a series of papers funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts through its “Advancing Quality Pre-K for All” initiative. The paper finds that early childhood education appears to offer great potential returns and low risks, and should be included by state and local leaders as a component of their economic development policy toolkit. The paper encourages local development policy-makers to view early education as a development tool and appreciate its lasting benefits. | Committee for Economic Development

Federal Estate Tax Update: As TaxVox blogmeister Howard Gleckman noted last week, the estate tax is once again in play in Congress.  The Tax Policy Center has updated their estate tax estimates to reflect the latest CBO projections and IRS data.  The main factor driving the revisions is that there’s a lot less wealth to tax now than there was a year ago.  The new tables show the distribution of returns, value of estate, and estate tax by size of estate for 4 policy options in 2011. | Tax Policy Center

HA Blog: Sales Tax vs Income Tax: A Short Primer in Fairness and Adequacy: Over the 74 years since it was first implemented, Washington’s state retail sales tax has been raised eight times, from 2% in 1935 to 6.5% in 1983.  On average, the sales tax rate was raised once every 6 years during its first 48 years of existence, culminating in a 2-cent jump between 1981 and 1983. |

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Posted in Paid Sick Days, Work & Family

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