As the McCleary tax bills are coming out, voters are starting to realize what a terrible bargain our legislators struck last year to almost meet their constitutional obligations as they ran out of town. Washington Democrats again and again – and again in this current session – have offered progressive solutions to fully funding our school districts.
Instead, our representatives, Sen. Mullet and Reps. Rodne and Graves, voted for the largest, most regressive tax increase in state history. They could have put a fair price on carbon pollution and used that to help fund schools. They could have ended our state’s gigantic corporate tax breaks and corporate free riding on the common good. They could have opted for a capital gains tax on the wealthy, or sought an income tax on high earners.
Instead they chose to slam their all of their constituents with a 17 percent (on average) property tax increase. Even worse, Sen. Mullet is now sponsoring a bill that seeks to punish local school districts left in a funding lurch with their local levies, even as the State Supreme Court has held that the legislature fell short in meeting their constitutional obligations!
If you feel as I do that the legislature erred in funding schools with a giant, regressive property tax increase on the poor and middle class then I urge you to reach out to our representatives and demand they seek a more progressive funding model for our local schools.
Kenneth (KC) Shankland