Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Ensure Ample Revenue to Protect and Support Kids

We all have a stake in the basic services and supports that help Washington’s kids. We count on programs and services, quality schools, health care and other public goods that make Washington great. Our shared investments contribute to quality early learning, child nutrition, and other services and supports that let kids thrive.

But our upside-down tax code harms our future. Washington state’s outdated, upside-down tax code—in which the people with the least income pay a much higher share of their incomes in taxes than the people with the most—has caused revenues as a proportion of the economy to shrink over the past 15 years. In response to this dwindling source of public funding, lawmakers have cut basic services for kids and families. Meanwhile, they have sustained more than 600 tax loopholes for big corporations and special interests, at the expense of the wellbeing of our communities. These giveaways shift the cost of basic services to those least able to bear it: low- and moderate-income households.

These choices are harming children and families—and exacerbating inequities that disproportionately hurt kids of color, whose families have faced longtime barriers to good jobs and economic stability. That’s no way to build a healthy future.

Lawmakers must close outdated and unnecessary tax loopholes and adopt new sources of revenue:

  • Raise revenue by creating a state capital gains tax;
  • Tax harmful carbon pollution;
  • Get rid of the tax giveaways that benefit special interests at the expense of kids, families and a healthy future.

Get a PDF version of this position statement.