Letters to the Editor

Wants tax steps to fund education

I believe our current state tax system is unfair and inadequate. Our poorest residents pay the most, and there is not enough revenue to fund the schools and social and health services we need. The Senate budget makes things worse by cutting funding for smaller class sizes and shortchanging educator pay and health care. They are balancing the budget on the backs of educators and low-income families.

Ericksen, Buys and Van Werven should consider:

1.A tax on investment profits (capital gains) that exempts homes and retirement income;

2.A carbon tax on big polluters;

3.Closing ineffective tax loopholes that give the rich cheaper tax rates.

Washington’s tax system is the most regressive and unfair in the United States according to itep.org. Taxes as a percentage of income paid show the poorest 20 percent pay 16.8 percent, the middle 60 percent including teachers) pay 10.1 percent and the top 1 percent pay 2.4 percent.

As a public school employee for 29 years, I urge you to communicate with our legislators to raise new revenue so we can fully fund education and protect the social and health services our students need. Our current tax system is unfair and inadequate. The House’s proposed tax on capital gains is a good step forward, but we also need to support other sources of new revenue, including a tax on big polluters and closing unfair corporate tax loopholes.

John Harmening

Blaine

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