If you can’t attend one of the four upcoming public meetings about transforming Washington’s budget, but you still want to weigh in, you’ve got an option: Go online to submit your best ideas and/or vote yay or nay on others’ proposals.
According to the site, the best ideas will “bubble to the top”. In order for that to happen, people are going to need access to information so they can make informed decisions. Here are a few resources you might find useful:
- How limiting tax exemptions could save taxpayers $15 billion. (Here’s a 2008 list of tax exemptions from the Washington Department of Revenue.)
- How a state level windfall profits tax could generate over $600 million annually, with proceeds invested to incubate production and use of renewable energy, retrofit schools for greater energy efficiency, shift student bus transportation to biodiesel fuel, and reduce taxes.
- How expanding the sales tax base to cover services could provide up to $784 million in additional state revenue and $293 million to local governments.
- The Citizen’s Guide to the Washington State Budget should be required reading for these discussions — it includes an easy-to-understand overview of where the money comes from and how it is spent.
- The Washington State Tax Structure Study is a valuable resource for understanding the state’s tax structure.
- The Transforming Washington’s Budget website itself includes some budget visualization tools like these — and lots more good info.
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