Budgets in Olympia reflect the values of our elected leaders, which in turn reflect our local values. The League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County applaud the House budget for going further than the governor and Senate in proposing new revenue for education and other critical state services.
We are very concerned about the Senate’s proposal to raid funds designated for local infrastructure, such as sewer and water projects, parks and health services. However, we believe none of the proposed budgets go far enough in improving the fairness of our tax system and addressing revenue shortfalls in education and other essential state services.
Our current state tax system is considered the most unfair in the nation, with taxes falling disproportionately on lower-income residents. Further, without additional shared revenue, the state Supreme Court's review of the Legislature’s compliance with the McCleary decision (ordering ample state funding for education) may result in the imposition of sanctions.
We urge readers to contact their legislators with this message: Let’s play fair and fund critical services for our state.
(Eismann and Hatchett are co-presidents of the League of Women Voters Tacoma-Pierce County.)