Capital gains for kids!
The House proposal to close the tax break on capital gains helps both balance our tax code, which is the most upside-down in the nation, and ensures we can invest in priorities like early learning, education, and mental health care that lead to thriving communities. The new tax would not apply to retirement accounts and the sales of single-family residences, duplexes and triplexes; breeding livestock, agricultural lands or timber and timber lands.
The state is expected to have $4.5 billion in additional revenue over the next two years under the current taxation system, but nearly the entire amount will be spent on the K-12 system based on the legislature’s bipartisan response in 2017 to the McCleary decision. We need new funding streams to continue to raise the bar for our children beyond McCleary.
Revenue from the capital gains tax would go into an account that only can be spent on education. The funds would be targeted to the K-12 system, pre-kindergarten education and special education. The funding would also reduce the wait list for the State Need Grant by half in the 2019-2020 academic year and eliminate it in 2020-2021.
Our state needs to take bold steps to ensure that we can pay for our children’s futures. This upside-down tax code that we currently have does not work. The state’s poorest families carry the heaviest tax burdens. From cradle to career, we need to support our children. It’s time for a change, and the time is now.
We’ve all seen them -- those sad parks with aging mobile homes, no grass, tarps over leaky roofs. I used to drive by them and feel sorry for those folks living there. Now I drive by and say “these are the lucky ones.”
Speaking of lucky, I was fortunate to have a long and successful career in state service. Now I’m in a different role, I have a different perspective.
One of those mobile home parks sits off exit 74 in Chehalis. This park is a community. The residents know their neighbors and support each other. But they’ve just been issued 90-day eviction notices. New owner. New land use. Here they are -- mainly elderly or disabled -- with no means to casually pick up and relocate. Gentrification at its meanest and ugliest.
Are there services out there to help these people? Or do they just pack up their ancient cars and go live in a Walmart parking lot?
A country is only as civilized as it is compassionate -- a community only as strong as its weakest members. We all need to remember this, and act accordingly.