Re: “Downtown Seattle’s future depends on coronavirus-relief funds now” [March 30, Opinion]: Seattle and communities statewide cannot rely solely on federal aid for COVID-19 economic recovery. The recent federal stimulus bills have been good starts, but Washington state’s lawmakers also will need to implement continued stimulus measures.
Our state has the country’s most regressive, inequitable tax code, overly relying on sales-tax revenue — while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. People with low incomes pay six times more of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest 1%. This tax code fails to adequately support communities and prevents people with low wages — disproportionately people of color because of historical and ongoing racist policymaking — from being able to get ahead.
Our sales-tax-reliant tax code also means revenues will drop precipitously in the coming months as people spend less money. If lawmakers don’t act quickly, we will see devastating budget cuts to critical public programs at the worst possible time.
Our Legislature must take bold steps to reform our tax code to help our state recover from this economic devastation. As part of their reforms, lawmakers should consider policies like taxing the profits that millionaires and billionaires receive from capital gains and removing unnecessary tax breaks for big corporations.
Andy Nicholas, Renton