Balance Our Tax Code Statement on the 2023 Legislative Session

Balance Our Tax Code Statement on the 2023 Legislative Session

Washington has the resources to make sure working families in every community can thrive. But if we want that future, the wealthy few in our state must begin paying what they truly owe in taxes.

While we are celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Capital Gains Taxt, and the $500 million of yearly funding for much-needed child care, early learning, and education, our system is far from equitable. There is still much work the Legislature must do to balance our tax code, which is a key driver of racial and social inequities in Washington, as Justice Debra Stephens acknowledged in her opinion about the Capital Gains Tax ruling.

This legislative session, our coalition organized closely with many partners to develop and endorse 8 bills that would generate essential funding for communities and address racist economic policies in Washington state. While some progress was made, we are disappointed the legislature did not do more to advance some important priorities.

  • A Wealth Tax proposal would have raised more than $3 billion per year to fund disability services, affordable housing, education, and cash for working families. Although the majority of Washingtonians supported the bill according to two recent polls and many voiced their support in both the House and Senate hearings, the wealth tax ultimately was not considered in the final budget.
  • The legislature made some important changes to help communities access the Working Families Tax Credit, but chose to continue the exclusion of working seniors and young workers without children.
  • Legislators voted to continue funding for a guaranteed basic income pilot program in Tacoma, but failed to expand it beyond this one city.

Balance Our Tax Code is a coalition made up of more than 100 labor unions, non-profits, immigrant rights advocates, human service providers, housing advocates and activists. Together, we work to educate, advocate, shape public opinion, and pass laws until we have a tax code that supports a way of life that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few. 

Our vision is a more just and equitable tax code for Washington state that creates a strong future where all communities have the resources they need to thrive.