A recent report published by the Economic Opportunity Institute found “a household earning $25,000 in Seattle winds up paying about $4,200 in all the various state and local taxes — that’s a staggering 17 percent of its income. But a $250,000-income household pays $11,000, which pencils out to just 4.4 percent of income.”
Previous studies have found the Evergreen State has one of the most regressive tax systems in the country. Report author Matthew Caruchet said increasing income inequality is compounding the problem, pushing this regressive tax structure to a breaking point. He said the burden isn’t evenly distributed.
According to a 59-page report from the Economic Opportunity Institute, a $25,000-a-year Seattle family spends 17% of its income on state and local taxes. However, families with annual income of 250,000 U.S. dollars only pay 4.4% in taxes. (Translated from Chinese)
If you feel like you’re highly taxed, you’re probably right – if you’re working class or middle class. If you’re wealthy, you’re benefitting from some of the lowest taxes in the nation. It may be tough for a lot of people, but high taxes on the middle class are a small price to pay to keep our millionaires and billionaires flush with cash. In a few years, we may even realize our dream of Jeff Bezos diving head-first into a Scrooge McDuck-size pile of gold doubloons.
Seattle, the Institute criticizes, likes to imagine itself as a progressive beacon. But of the major cities in Washington, it’s Spokane that has the least regressive taxes. A household earning $25,000 has 10.4 percent of its income taxed.
But when it comes to raising money, Seattle’s hands are tied because we can’t tax income, Matthew Caruchet says. “Seattle has a lot of exigent needs. It’s a fast-growing city that needs better transportation, more affordable housing,” he said. “So we need to raise more revenue. But the only way we can do that is by increasing these regressive taxes, like the soda tax. It’s creating more income inequality.”
“People don’t realize that tax systems can vary so much within the state,” said Matthew Caruchet, communications director for the EOI. “The pressure on a low-income household in Seattle is much different from the pressure on a low-income household in Yakima.”
Seattle’s tax system ranks as the unfairest in the state. As a city widely accepted to be a liberal bubble, Seattle’s tax system reflects a different story. A new report from the Economic Opportunity Institute showed a family making $25,000 in annual income will be taxed four times as much as a family making $250,000.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the unfairest of them all? Famed is thy progressiveness, Seattle, but when it comes to taxes, it’s you. A new study singles out our city as the most regressive in the country. Taxes here are exceptionally hard on the poor and uniquely light on the rich. "When you look at Washington state, it’s the most regressive out of all the states, and when you look Seattle, it’s the most regressive out of all the largest cities in every state," said Matthew Caruchet, who wrote the report for the Economic Opportunity Institute.
If you make more than $25,000 per year, count yourself lucky - you're probably paying less in taxes than people who make less than that. But if you make more than $250,000, you're paying MUCH less in taxes as a share of income than your Puget Sound neighbors. That's according to a new study by the Economic Opportunity Institute.