Friends and neighbors,
We have passed a few crucial deadlines of the 2021 Legislative Session, but we’re still churning through bills and the budgets up until Sine Die on April 24. I wanted to take this time to provide some updates regarding the Employment Security Department, how COVID-19 recovery is going for the 11th LD, and some exciting news about legislation making its way through the process.
Introducing: progressive policy corner!
This week, I’m also introducing a new segment of our e-newsletter! In the progressive policy corner, I’ll give you background about one specific policy that we are working on in Olympia to benefit our entire state. This week, I want to chat about capital gains.
Senate Bill 5096, which we passed out of the Senate two weeks ago, would tax fewer than 1% of Washington residents, but would provide crucial investments in childcare statewide. It would create a tax on the capital gains from sale of stocks and bonds and investments over $250,000, with exemptions for the sales of 1st and 2nd homes, commercial real estate, agricultural land, retirement accounts, or the sale of family-owned small businesses.
Washington state is one of only seven states in the country that don’t already have a capital gains tax, and our tax will be 7% on amounts over $250,000, which is about in the middle of rates throughout the country and about the same as Idaho’s. Oregon’s is about 10%. The federal rate is 25%.
Washington currently has the most regressive tax structure in the country, with low-income Washingtonians paying 17 percent of their income in taxes while the wealthiest Washingtonians pay just 3 percent. Though not a silver bullet for fixing our tax structure, passing capital gains is a step towards reforming our upside-down system and getting the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share – all while making childcare more affordable for working class families.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see what else we chat about in the progressive policy corner!
Employment Security Department updates
We’ve been hearing from a lot of residents in the 11th District who are still struggling to access their unemployment resources. The Legislature has been in close contact with the Employment Security Department to convey your concerns and offer support as they have experienced record numbers of applications for assistance.
However, I know that there are still many frustrating issues and delays. Please continue reaching out to my office and we will do our best to support you through the process.[/vc_column_text]
COVID-19 safety reminders
With more of our community vaccinated against COVID-19 and a hope of being able to see friends and neighbors in person again, it’s important to continue practicing safety measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. That means continuing to stay home except for essential trips, maintaining physical distancing while around others, masking up, and washing your hands often with warm soap and water.
Telephone town hall
Thanks to everyone who tuned in for the telephone town hall hosted by myself, Rep. Bergquist and Rep. Hackney on Wednesday! It was great to hear from you and learn what you’re passionate about in our district.
Remember that you can always reach out to my office with questions and concerns: Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov or (360)-786-7616.