Chase introduces bill to address ‘upside-down tax system’

Maralyn ChaseState Sen. Maralyn Chase, who represents the 32nd District including parts of Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace, on Friday introduced a bill that would eliminate the tax exemption on intangible personal property and the business and occupation tax exemption on investments and dividends.

Chase said in announcement from her office Friday that Senate Bill 6111 is addressed at exemptions that benefit the wealthiest 1 percent of Washingtonians.

“This is only a beginning to fix our upside-down tax system, but it’s a beginning,” Chase said. “This legislation says to all Washingtonians that we recognize that our state places a disproportionate and unjust tax burden on the middle class and the poor, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore.”

Washington’s reliance on a sales tax means that middle-class and lower-case households pay more than 10 percent of their net income in state taxes, while the wealthy pay less than 3 percent of their income in state taxes, Chase noted.

“This egregious disparity in taxation runs contrary to Article VII of the state Constitution, which requires a uniform system of taxation,” Chase said. “Our Constitution requires that the distribution of the burdens of taxation be uniform.”

Chase said that intangible wealth, such as stocks and bonds, has come to represent more than half of all property wealth that has a taxable location in Washington state.

“Taxing tangible property while exempting intangible property stacks the deck in favor of the richest residents and businesses while forcing middle-class households to carry the bulk of the load,” Chase said. “It’s time for the wealthiest Washingtonians to begin to pay their fair share. I look forward to a stirring debate and a robust fight.”

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