Lawmakers should call a special session | Letter

Jul 02, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

To comply with the Supreme Court's mandate to fully fund education, new revenues are needed. In response, a special legislative session should be called immediately to comply.

Once there, lawmakers could do three things:

Pass a capital gains excise tax. According to the Washington Budget and Policy Center, at 5 percent this generates $500 million annually. At 10 percent (which is close to the combined local and state sales tax) it generates $1 billion annually.

Audit corporate welfare. Any corporation doing business in Washington state with profits over $500 million would be barred from receiving corporate welfare subsidies. Current welfare to corporations fitting this description should be immediately canceled. The State Department of Revenue in 2012 reported Washington gave over $20 billion in corporate welfare, not including Boeing's $8.7 billion.

Pass a statewide $15 minimum wage. This would increase local and state tax revenues from current minimum wage earners by up to 60 percent and reduce welfare rolls. It would also address income inequality, which according to the World Bank study “Inequality and Violent Crime,” would lower violent crime.

Simply put: A statewide $15 reduces the cost of government, through reduced welfare expenditures and law enforcement while increasing sales tax revenues.

Our communities didn't elect incumbent lawmakers to violate our Constitution. Incumbent lawmakers had since 2012 to fix the problem they created. They ignored it and, in 2013, they voted for corporate greed over our children's future.

We should demand lawmakers be accountable now with an immediate special session.

Respectfully,

Bob Lewis,

Lynnwood

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