LETTER: Capital gains tax needed

Washington state has the most unfair state and local tax system in the country.

In its latest analysis of the tax systems of all 50 states, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that the 20 percent of Washington taxpayers with the lowest incomes pay state and local taxes at more than five times the rate of those in the top 1 percent.

That is by far the worst imbalance in the country, according to the institute, which has been studying U.S. tax policy for more than 40 years.

Details are online in the Institute’s sixth and latest edition of “Who Pays?” a rigorous and independent state-by-state analysis.

Of course, unfairness works both ways, a disadvantage to some, an advantage to others.

In a Feb. 25 Peninsula Daily News essay, Tyler Crow, president and CEO of Green Crow Corp., opposed creating a capital gains tax in Washington, because the reform would “take away one of Washington’s best competitive advantages.”

Crow also serves on the board of directors of the Association of Washington Business for the 6th Congressional District.

Taxing investment gains, as proposed by Senate Bill 5096, wouldn’t change the extreme underlying income inequality in Washington state.

It would just keep our tax system from making that inequality even worse.

Tom Wolfe

Port Angeles