SEATTLE, WA. – Two-thirds (67%) of Washington voters support raising taxes on the wealthiest individuals in our state, according to recent polling. The polling was prepared as part of the State Innovation Exchange’s Tax Justice Initiative, which saw eight states, including Washington, launch wealth taxes on January 19th. The survey of nearly 500 Washingtonians across the state shows that 67% of Washington voters support implementing a state wealth tax where the first $250 million is exempt. Voters name public health care, affordable housing, and K-12 public education as priority areas for funding with revenues from new taxes on the ultra-rich.
The survey also shows cross-partisan support for the tax on the wealthy, with 88% of Democrats, 58% of Independents, and 48% of Republicans surveyed supporting the state wealth tax proposal. “Washingtonians across the political spectrum get that it isn’t that complicated: they want the wealthiest in our state, some of whom are the richest people in the world, to pay what they owe in taxes so we can guarantee quality public schools, safe roads, and available social services,” says Carolyn Brotherton, Policy Associate at the Economic Opportunity Institute.
The majority of Washingtonians polled believe that the wealthy aren’t paying their share, stating that current taxes on those with $50 million in wealth are too low. “During the pandemic billionaires added trillions to their wealth while the rest of us experienced devastating economic setbacks. We lost jobs, grocery prices went way up, and everything feels more difficult than before. People understand our tax code is unjust and want to see real change” continued Brotherton.
This month, lawmakers introduced a new wealth tax on the ultra-rich to fund our greatest needs in housing, education, and disability benefits. The bills, SB 5486 and HB 1473, would create a 1% property tax that would be paid by only a few hundred multimillionaires and billionaires across the state and raise $3 billion dollars per year.
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