Washington state’s heavy reliance on sales tax and real property tax to fund essential state services made sense 70 years ago, but many people believe that it is time to modernize our tax structure to reflect the new realities of today’s economy. Currently, Washington does not levy a tax on intangible wealth, such as stocks, bonds, and money market accounts. Most other states do, either by taxing interest and capital gains through a state income tax, or directly with an intangible wealth tax. Washington State prepares to confront a mounting budget crisis, this option is coming under scrutiny. This discussion brief outlines the effect an intangible wealth tax would have on state revenues.
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