Small business owners say it’s time for Washington’s legislators to kickstart the state’s economy by making the wealthiest pay their share of taxes.
State legislators are holding hearings this week on bills to raise billions for public health, early learning, and small business assistance through changes to large estate taxes (HB 1465) and taxing extraordinary profits and capital gains (HB 1496).
The new ad, running in key legislative districts around the state, features the owners of Archipelago, Andaluz, Ice Cream Social, and Poverty Bay Coffee Roasters.
In the ad, the small business owners say
“It’s important to keep things moving. Like how money flowing through communities creates a strong economy. But now money is stuck at the top. Because Washington has the country’s most upside-down tax code where the wealthy pay less than the rest of us. If the wealthy pay their share, we’ll have an economic recovery that works for all of us. Money flowing through our community keeps people working and lets us invest in schools and business. That means more jobs and more business.”
Aaron Verzosa, chef and owner of Archipelago, a Filipino American restaurant in Seattle’s Hillman neighborhood, says, “Economists estimate every dollar spent by the state generates up to three dollars in local communities. We need to keep that money flowing, especially in neighborhoods of color, where small businesses provide good jobs and community.”
Dan Olmstead, owner of Poverty Bay Coffee roasters in Auburn, says “Money is stuck at the top because our big corporate competitors pay the same tax rate, or even less, than we pay. Big corporations should pay their share like the rest of us. It’s the only way we will kickstart our economy and keep Washington a great place for everyone.”
Karla Esquivel, owner of Anadaluz, a gift shop in Columbia City, says, “Increasing spending is good for small businesses like mine because our customers will be able to buy a puzzle, necklace, or funny card. It doesn’t sound like much, but it keeps small businesses’ doors open – that’s good for employees and neighborhoods.”
In a letter to legislators, more than 40 small business owners – including the owners of some of the state’s best restaurants such as Loulay – call for changes to the state’s regressive tax system.
Washington is the worst in the nation when it comes to our upside down tax system – where the lowest income families pay the biggest share for our state’s hospitals, roads, and schools.
“Washington’s system pits students, patients, and the most vulnerable against each other in a mad budget scramble every year,” said Treasure Mackley, Executive Director of Invest in Washington Now. “The pandemic has shown us just how vulnerable we all are. Voters and economists agree it’s time for those who’ve done well in Washington to do right by Washington.”
In a December 2020 survey of 500 Washington voters, an overwhelming 76% support increasing taxes specifically on wealthy individuals and corporations. The same number say that “the wealthiest should pitch in a little more in taxes,” with more than half (54%) agreeing strongly with this statement. Full polling memo here.
Invest in Washington Now is a new 501c4 group funded by educators, health care providers, and others through their unions, and other civic organizations.