Our tax code has some serious structural problems. As the graph below shows, even though the need for investments in our communities is growing, out total state resources are now $7 billion lower than they were in 1995 after adjustment for economic growth. Unless we take action to fix it, this will only get worse going forward.
Graph: Washington state revenue to remain at recession levels, even after recent tax increase
Despite our recent economic boom, state revenue has stagnated as recession levels. What does that mean? Washington’s communities are working harder than ever, but we aren’t seeing the fruits of our labors. The majority of state prosperity is going to the wealthiest 1% at the cost of the rest of us.
Adjusted for economic growth, Washington is investing less in education, health, government efficacy, and economic security than we were ten years ago. We have one of the fastest growing and most successful economies in the nation, but we’re providing less for the things that help us thrive. Instead, we let powerful special interests get away with special deals. That’s upside-down.
From transportation to health care, we all rely on public services. Having enough revenue to invest in those services determines our ability to provide a world-class education, build a high-quality, affordable health care system, protect our environment, and support working families. We can accomplish all those things and more by cleaning up our upside-down tax system so every community can thrive!