Campaign against I-2109, which repeals the capital gains tax, launched across Washington

Educators, childcare providers, and advocates gathered in Burien, Yakima, Spokane and Vancouver to launch the NO I-2109 campaign on Wednesday. 

I-2109 would repeal Washington's capital gains tax, a 7% tax on the sale of stocks and assets over $250,000 annually, which passed in 2021.

In its first year, the Washington Department of Revenue says less than 4,000 people paid the tax, but it brought in nearly $900 million for childcare, education and school construction.

Dr. Stephan Blanford, Executive Director of Children's Alliance says the tax is helping hundreds of thousands of kids across the state.

"This is a step moving us in the right direction and to have it taken away by the wealthiest people in the state seems fundamentally wrong," said Dr. Blanford.

This is why Dr. Blanford says he'll be voting against I-2109 on the ballot this November.

I-2109 is supported by Let's Go Washington organizer Brian Heywood.

"You're going to have people who would have come to Washington to start up new businesses, they will no longer come here," said Heywood.

The hedge fund manager believes Washington has other ways to fund education and points to the state budget's accumulative surplus.

"Why don't they use those surpluses instead of creating a new tax that harms business in the state," said Heywood.

Heywood is convinced businesses in Washington have already been affected, and he cites the capital gains tax returns dropped from nearly $900 million to $400 million in its second year.

"It's a small group of people that moved, that shifted it down that far," said Heywood.

Heywood believes the capital gains tax gets Washington closer to having a state income tax, but Dr. Blanford says that isn't the case.

"The reality is what's on the ballot is not an income tax," said Dr. Blanford. "There are also people who pay the tax and are happy to pay it because they know that it's creating a better society in our state." 


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