by Dr. Stephan Blanford
Yesterday’s news that the Douglas County Superior Court struck down the capital gains tax is a setback for all who've worked tirelessly to fix our upside-down tax code and secure much-needed funding for early learning.
The tax is designed to support schools, child care and other essential infrastructure, including the advancements made in the 2021 Fair Start for Kids Act. This legislation is already having positive impacts for families and children across the state and the capital gains tax provides a long-term revenue stream for its future implementation and maintenance. Yet, the Court has decided to take this funding away from our children, so that our state’s super-rich can continue adding to their profits.
During the pandemic, the very wealthiest Washingtonians saw their fortunes grow to obscene amounts. In contrast, many of our child care providers struggled to remain open or ended up having to close their doors for good. Early childhood educators, the majority of whom are women, and disproportionately women of color, bravely continued to care for our children during the pandemic. It’s about time we stepped up for these hardworking educators the way they continue to step up for our kids and families.
This development should not deter us from our continued advocacy for the needs of our children and those who care for them. We know families need help to pay for the high cost of child care. We know that child care providers in every corner of the state were beginning to recover from the pandemic because of increased support as a result of the Fair Start for Kids Act. And we know that Washington’s tax structure continues to be the most regressive in the country, forcing low-income people to pay more in taxes than the wealthy. These are the problems that we are working to change.
We will not let this decision stand in the way of the brighter future our kids deserve. Washington’s children, their families and providers should have access to an early learning system that propels children towards their potential. Stay tuned for further developments and help us make a positive difference for our state’s children.