“This is really important to me personally, I hope my two sons will have kids soon and I want them to have this policy available to them. I was able to care for my mother as she died a couple years ago, it was a privilege to be able to do that, but I don’t think it should be a privilege it should be a right that everyone has,” said Marilyn Watkins, who is the policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute.
As analysts at Washington State’s Economic Opportunity Institute point out, “poor research leads to poor findings.” Among its deficiencies, the University of Washington study excludes workers at chain businesses (from Starbucks to Walgreens), leaving out 40 percent of the city’s workforce.
“We know that we have an incredibly inequitable and unfair tax structure where working class people pay about 4 times as much of their income as people at the top,” John Burbank argues.
You can’t get rich if you’re in bankruptcy from cancer treatments. You can’t succeed in business if your employees and customers can’t reach you. You can’t be a great employee – or come up with the next big business idea – if you don’t get a shot at a great education.
City leaders are considering an income tax on Seattle's wealthy. Is the proposal for a new 1.5% tax on income in excess of $250,000 a fair idea? Or would it have a chilling effect on the city's booming economy?
At a public hearing on a proposed income tax on high earnings at Seattle City Council chambers Wednesday night, a near-unanimous consensus emerged from the sometimes soaring, sometimes stammering oratory: pass it.
In the long run, the only realistic way we’re going to ensure educational opportunity is really a right for all children in Washington — and not a privilege for the lucky few — is with broad-based progressive tax reform that reduces taxes on low- and middle-income families, and increases them on the rich.
“Seattle can take the lead in dismantling a century-old, discriminatory tax system that weighs heavily on low-income and working-class residents,” John Burbank said before Wednesday’s hearing.
“Households with incomes below $21,000 are paying, on average, 16.8 percent of their income in state and local taxes, while those with incomes above $500,000 pay just 2.4 percent said John Burbank, Executive Director of the Economic Opportunity Institute, which co-leads the Trump Proof Seattle Coalition. “It is reasonable for Seattle’s wealthiest residents, who currently pay the lowest tax rates, to pay a little more to make Seattle a better place for everyone – including themselves – to live, work, raise a family and do business.”
The clock is winding down on a second special session in Olympia, and legislators haven’t yet made serious progress on their paramount duty to amply fund K-12 education, despite an order from the state Supreme Court to do so. Meanwhile, newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal isn’t waiting around.