It’s that time of year again. Across the state, families and friends will sit down to share a meal and reflect on the past year.
We need to talk about taxes. From car tabs to the McCleary decision, the biggest challenges of 2017 come back to Washington’s dirty little secret: we have the most upside-down tax code in the nation. Those with the least pay the greatest share of their income in state and local taxes, while corporations and the rich get away with a special deal. If we want to lead the way for change, we’ve got to start at home and clean up our tax code so every community can thrive. Luckily, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take stock of all the things we love and talk about what we can do to keep on fighting.
You can’t let that one loud, anti-tax relative dominate the conversation. If taxes come up at your meal, you’ve got a great opportunity to help your friends and family learn more about fixing our upside-down tax code. Here are our tips for talking to your friends and family about taxes this Thanksgiving.
All In For Washington’s Five Tips for Thanksgiving Tax Talk
- Tip one—start with shared values. You know your people best. Kick off the conversation by talking about the values that everyone at the table shares.
“I think we can all agree that our government has a responsibility to use our resources wisely for the foundations that benefit all of us.”
- Tip two—talk about community interests. Is your anti-tax relative complaining about government wasting tax dollars again? Remind your dinner-mates of all the community interests we share and benefit from that are paid for with our taxes.
“I think of taxes as investments in things like public schools, parks, and the roads that got us here tonight. These are the things our community needs to thrive. You can’t get something for nothing!”
- Tip three—call out Washington’s upside-down tax code. The odds are, your anti-tax relative is actually paying far more than their share in state and local taxes—most working and middle income people are. Help them redirect their anger toward the real problem: powerful special interests are manipulating our tax code with hundreds of wasteful tax breaks and loopholes that siphon millions of dollars out of our communities every year.
“Washington actually has the most upside-down tax code in the nation. Working people end up paying 17% of their income in state and local taxes while the wealthiest only pay less than 3%! It’s ridiculous that people like Jeff Bezos can make over a $1 billion overnight while our schools can’t afford to buy basic classroom supplies.”
- Tip four—talk about a solution. Don’t despair! It doesn’t have to be this way. There are real, concrete ways to clean up our tax code so that it works for everyone. Examples include closing the tax break on capital gains, fighting back against new tax cuts for big corporations, and asking powerful special interests to pay their share.
“It doesn’t have to be this way! If we come together, we can clean up our upside-down tax code by closing wasteful tax breaks and loopholes and asking powerful special interests to start paying their share. There’s a lot we can do to invest in thriving communities.”
- Tip five—give them something to do. Call your friends and family to action! Real change happens when people get involved. As you read this, our state representatives are getting ready to start 2018’s legislative session, where we have a great opportunity to close the tax break on capital gains. Nationally, our elected leaders are debating the Trump/GOP tax overhaul, a plan that cuts taxes for powerful special interests and corporations at the expense of working people. There’s a lot each of us can do. Tell your legislators that enough is enough: it’s time to clean up the upside-down tax code!
“2018’s going to be a huge year for us to make some real change. I’m calling my representatives to urge them to close the tax break on capital gains and fix our broken tax code. I’m making my voice heard. What do you think you’ll do to make a difference?”
With growing economic inequality and the threat of the Trump/GOP tax plan on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that we clean up Washington’s upside-down tax code. We’re thankful for all the incredible benefits we receive from chipping in our share, and we’re thankful for people like you who stand up for their communities, their neighbors, and the state we call home.
Good luck with all of your Thanksgiving conversations, and don’t forget to invite your friends and family to check out AllInForWa.org!