FINISHED! Gov. Jay Inslee signs bill to impose capital gains tax on the wealthy :: Cascadia Advocate of NPI
Progressive tax reform in Washington State took a long-awaited and badly needed step forward this afternoon with the signing of two financially responsible bills that will strengthen our common wealth: ESSB 5096, which levies a tax on capital gains on the richest, and ESHB 1297, which updates the law allowing a working family tax credit for the poorest families in Washington.
“This important step in rebuilding our unfair tax code was taken after years of work, years of dialogue and thousands of voices calling for this policy,” said Senator June Robinson (D-38th District: Everett and Snohomish County ), the main sponsor of the legislation. “We have heard that people in all parts of our state are ready to move forward together towards a healthier, stronger future, and it is time for the wealthiest among us to pay our fair share for that future.
“This capital gains excise tax, along with the working family tax refund that we passed earlier this session, will help support working families in all corners of our state,” he said. said Rep. Noel Frame (D-36th District; Seattle), NPI board member Gael. Tarleton’s successor as chair of the House finance committee.
“By asking the wealthiest among us to share in the responsibility of financing the needs of our communities and putting money back in the pockets of low-income families through a sales tax rebate, these policies are the first steps on the way to fiscal balance. coded. We will continue on this path of tax reform with the ongoing work of the working group on the tax structure. “
ESSD 5096 was NPI’s top priority for the 2021 legislative session. It was also the top legislative priority for the Balance Our Tax Code coalition and the Washington State Democratic Party. Since the bill includes a provision stating that it is necessary for state government support, it is not subject to a referendum.
Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman (who owes Washington taxpayers millions of dollars for repeated and willful FCPA violations) sought to test whether the Secretary of State would allow the tabling of a referendum on the bill. last week. He got his answer when election officials denied his statements.
Prior to the final passage of ESSB 5096, Eyman had attempted to convince potential funders and supporters to support an initiative to overturn the bill, rather than a referendum, calling the previous iteration of the bill ( which did not prohibit a referendum) of “trap” Set by the Democrats.
Although ESSB 5096 is not going to a potential referendum, it will have to overcome the legal challenges of several right-wing groups. These challenges will start at the lower court level and will almost certainly end up in the Washington State Supreme Court within a year and a half.
There could also be a challenge to the ballot in the form of an initiative, most likely in 2022, given that the window to qualify a measure in the November 2021 ballot is closing quickly. (The signing deadline is just two months away.)
NPI research revealed strong public support for a state capital gains tax on the wealthy for six consecutive years. Our most recent finding is summarized below:
Capital Gains Tax Survey Results (May 2020)
QUESTION: Are you strongly in favor, somewhat in favor, somewhat against or strongly opposed to taxing the capital gains of wealthy individuals to help fund public schools, colleges and universities?
- Support: 59%
- Strongly supports: 42%
- Some Support: 17%
- Opposed: 32%
- Somewhat opposed: 11%
- Strongly Opposed: 21%
- Not sure: 9%
Notably, more respondents said they strongly supported a capital gains tax on the wealthy than the total number who said they were against.
We also found in that same survey that an almost identical percentage of voters believe that Washington schools are again underfunded, despite the Legislative Assembly’s work to respond to Mccleary decision. The implementation of ESSB 5096 will help meet this funding need.
Our May 2020 survey of 1,070 probable Washington state voters for 2020 was in the field from Tuesday, May 19 through Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
It uses a mixed methodology, with automated phone calls to landlines and SMS responses only from cell phone respondents.
The survey was conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Northwest Progressive Institute and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0% at the 95% confidence level.
NPI congratulates all those who participated in the effort to secure passage of ESSB 5096, especially the Democratic lawmakers who sponsored the bill, chaired its committee review and voted in favor of it.
It’s a beautiful day for Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.