My name is Carolyn Holmes and I’m all in for cleaning up our tax code.
My husband and I are both retired. We both had professional jobs that paid well, and we’ve lived a very blessed life in Spokane since we moved here in 1980. Washington is a great place to live and raise a family. We raised out three sons here, and we love our community.
We have lived in other places. After we retired, my husband and I moved out of state for nearly two years. There were several reasons for our return, but one big consideration was that Washington only taxes consumption, not wealth. We wanted to protect our assets, but we never considered the consequences on our entire community.
When I learned that Washington has the most upside down tax code in the nation, I was shocked, and outraged. We ask those with the least to give the most. Working families and the middle class pay higher rates than the richest households. I love our state, but I’m ashamed of our tax code. How can a family that is just starting out and struggling to make ends meet be paying more of their income in taxes than my husband and I, who have so much more? No wonder folks struggle to afford childcare, college tuition, or even help out their parents and grandparents as they age.
It’s not hard to understand why we have trouble funding the things our families and communities need to thrive. Washington is an amazing place, and we have a responsibility to keep it that way. We could have the best schools in America, well-maintained roads and infrastructure, and high quality healthcare. When we all work together and invest our resources together, these things are all possible.
But you can’t get something for nothing.
That’s what I learned after attending a state budget workshop with All In For Washington. I heard countless stories of why our state budget matters to our community. Our upside down tax code is holding our state back.
I strongly believe that there are others like me, who, if they knew about our upside down tax code, would work to change how our state does things. We need to clean up our tax code, close wasteful tax breaks, and turn things right side up.
Together, we can create a bright and hopeful future for all of Washington’s residents.