Tax breaks burden poor

May 2, 2011 | Economic Opportunity Institute

From the Spokane Spokesman-Review:

Washington state is fast on its way to becoming the Evergreen gated community, with starkly different futures for the haves and have-nots. It’s time to tell our elected officials to set a better course.

Our state is at a defining crossroads. Funding for vital public services such as kindergarten, class-size reductions, colleges and universities, toxic cleanups, hospitals and Basic Health have all been slashed and now face even deeper cuts.

Washington state already slashed $5 billion from essential public services in the past two years – and then another $750 million on top of that, because of higher-than-expected revenue shortfalls – and lawmakers are considering another $5 billion in reductions over the next two years.

The basic elements that define Washington – our world-class research facilities, our beautiful environment, our caring communities, our smarter-than-average work force – are all at stake.

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Comments

  1. Winslow P. Kelpfroth says:

    aside from the confused allusions in this opinion piece (to the best of my knowledge, the State of Washington doesn’t grant tax breaks to ‘Wall Street’) I agree that tax breaks should be reviewed; a sunset provision should be written into all such breaks. The one that grates on me right now is the federal tax credit for blending biodiesel. See IRS Form 8864. A $1.00 refundable tax credit for each gallon of corn oil blended into 4 gallons of petroleum diesel. My cousin’s company is making a killing off of this scam; blend a million gallons of B100 with 4 million gallons of petrodiesel to make 5 million gallons of B20, collect the tax credit, then ship it to Europe where the price of diesel is higher than it is here.
    And to think that Pres. Obama last February signed the bill extending this outrage for another five years. Incredible.

    • Alex Stone says:

      Winslow,

      The author was referring to a tax break that is taken advantage of by Wall Street banks, which allows them to deduct the interest on first home mortgages from their taxes – amounting to about $200 million per budget cycle. There is no evidence that these savings are passed along to consumers in Washington state.

      Also, we agree that tax breaks should include sunset provisions. Of the 500+ Washington state tax exemptions, some were written as early as the 1930s, and offer no economic benefit.

    • Thanks for your comment Winslow, but please keep your comments to the point of the original post, which in this case are tax breaks here in Washington state, not the “other Washington”. Thanks very much, ~Aaron Keating, Moderator

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