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  • Arne Mortensen

Hold onto to your wallets


I get these types of emails (see below for one example) from time to time ... I think you might get something from seeing part of the active machinery that presses for more taxpayer money, using such vague terms as "fairness." Of course, we all want to be fair, but fair is in the eye of the beholder. To me, taking by force citizens' money isn't fair, but the worst part is that it is destructive to society to use force to overcome individual rights to the fruits of one's labor.

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Tax fairness in Washington state

Constantine, Dow [Dow.Constantine@kingcounty.gov]

Sent:Thursday, April 18, 2019 4:52 PM

To:

Mortensen, Arne

Dear Commissioner Mortensen:

I am writing today to ask you to join me in calling for the Washington State Legislature to address our regressive tax structure.

Below is a letter expressing a collective desire for adoption of fair, progressive revenue to help address the challenges we are facing throughout our state.

As you know, the session ends next week. I’m hoping this letter will help remind our legislators they have support back home as they finalize the state budget

Please reply (by Monday COB) to add your name to the bottom of this letter and help send a message that the people we serve deserve fair taxes, and consistent services to protect and enhance our quality of life.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dow Constantine

King County Executive

[Letter text]

For the past two decades, local governments in Washington State have been asked-- sometimes felt compelled-- to take on additional costs and challenges of providing services to our constituents when federal and state partners haven’t been able to do so.

The result is an often uneven patchwork of programs and services, from transit and road repair to mental health and housing, that results in higher local taxes, a consistent string of voter approved special funding levies, or simply fewer investments in the people and communities we serve.

This year we are asking our elected leaders to take action to help end the cycle that results in fewer local options, higher property taxes, and an increased local burden.

For example, a modest capital gains tax - targeted in a way that excludes seniors, the middle class, and working families - in our state would generate significant resources without placing additional burden on seniors, working people and young families. These revenues could address K-12 education while also assisting with the expansion of Pre-K and early learning opportunities, increase access to treatment for mental health and substance use disorder, provide critical support for communities struggling with homelessness, and other urgent needs.

A single tax reform is not a cure-all, and of course will not address all priorities at the state and local level. But it is a start-- a first step to leveling the playing field, reducing the burden on middle class families, and helping the people we serve-- no matter where they live.

We thank you for your commitment to tax fairness.


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