Forward thinking in Washington these days is limited to federal law-makers scheming new and innovative ways to bolster the fortunes of the ultra-wealthy at the expense of just about everyone else.
That is, in Washington, DC. On the other side of the country in Washington State, and specifically Seattle, policymakers are taking a much different tack, choosing to build an economy that works for everyone.
Congress, and other states, should take notice.
The Seattle City Council voted on July 10 to pass a city-level income tax on its wealthiest income-earners. The small 2.25 percent tax will only apply to income over $250,000 for individuals, or $500,000 for married couples, and will raise an estimated $125 million per year.
This new revenue will strengthen the city’s public programs to address homelessness and affordable housing, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions, and improve the city’s education and transit.
The new revenue will also shore up federal funding lost as a result of budget cuts from the Trump administration. Opposition to the president’s budget proposal was a motivating factor for many, leading organizers to name the campaign “Trump-Proof Seattle.”