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I want to applaud Gene Balk’s article describing how our upside-down tax code places a greater burden on those who make less. This phenomenon is not new and is not limited to Seattle.

According to a 2015 state-by-state report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, middle-and lower-income households in Washington state pay up to 17 percent of their incomes in taxes while the average rate among the very wealthiest households is less than 3 percent. Washington has the most inequitable tax system in the nation.

For too long powerful special interests have been able to rig the tax code in their favor. Tax breaks cost our state billions of dollars in revenue that could be invested in the foundations of a thriving community.

Let’s encourage our lawmakers to take the bold step of cleaning up our tax code at the city and at the state level so that we can invest in excellent schools, good parks, and affordable housing and health care to help all families in Washington.

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Misha Werschkul, Seattle