For decades Washington State has had THE VERY WORST tax system in the U.S. It is horribly REGRESSIVE. This means that poor people pay a high percentage of their income and rich people pay a low percentage.
About 50 years ago I read a historian’s book chapter explaining how it was that Washington State has always opposed an income tax and supported a sales tax, while Oregon (our neighbor to the south) had a history of the exact opposite. I don’t remember the historical reasons now, but the legacy continues to hurt Washington State and especially our poor and working class.
This information and graph about Washington State’s regressive tax system came out in April 2019:
A non-profit organization working to abolish poverty in Washington State (www.povertyaction.org) sent this information in March 2019:
For years now, Washington state has ranked as having the number one worst tax code in the entire country!
In Washington state, the more money you make, the less money you ultimately pay in taxes. In fact, families making the least pay up to six times more as a share of their income in taxes compared with people who make the most. For example: if you are someone living on a low income and making $24,000 a year, you’re paying about 18% of your income in taxes. But if you’re someone living very comfortably in tax bracket for high earners, you’re only paying 3% of your income in taxes.
If that seems unbalanced, unfair, or upside down, that’s because it is.
It’s beyond time that our absurd state tax structure was turned right side up. We need a tax structure that works for low- and moderate-income people, not just wealthy people.
Poverty Action (www.povertyaction.org) pushed the State Legislature during the 2019 session and previous sessions. They will persist. I encourage you to help them and other non-profit organizations (such as www.balanceourtaxcode.com) working for economic justice in our tax system and throughout our economy.