The Washington state Constitution says: “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders.” Accordingly, in the recent budget deal passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, even Republican legislators agreed to raise taxes to satisfy the court’s 2012 McCleary decision.
Unfortunately, the Republicans insisted on raising real estate taxes but not capital gains taxes, because Republicans want to protect the rich from taxes. Bellevue residents will be especially hard hit. Indeed, Bellevue’s six state legislators — Patty Kuderer, Vandana Slatter, Joan McBride, Lisa Wellman, Judy Clibborn and Tana Senn (all Democrats, and all female) — voted against the budget deal, House Bill 2242, partly because it forces Bellevue to subsidize the rest of the state. Moreover, the budget deal perpetuates the regressive nature of our state tax system: rich people pay a lower proportion of income in taxes than do the middle class or the poor. Republicans are against taxes for the rich, but are perfectly OK with forcing the middle class and elderly on fixed incomes to pay hundreds of dollars more per year in real estate taxes.
Donald A. Smith