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WA Rep: Wealth tax ‘could put a major tool in the box’ to limit reliance on sales, property tax

In this aerial view from a drone, the Washington State Capitol is seen on Jan. 17, 2021 in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Washington state’s richest residents — including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates — could end up paying a wealth tax on intangible property, like stocks and bonds.

State Representative Noel Frame, who introduced the bill in Olympia, told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show that her bill is fair, especially at a time when so many are struggling.

“We believe there’s almost 100 effected taxpayers, which, personally, I find jaw-dropping that we might have as many as 100 billionaires in Washington state,” she said.

Frame says the bill would reduce the state’s reliance on sales tax and property tax, and provides equity in the state’s tax code. She says the state’s lowest income households pay more in taxes compared to the highest earning households.

“And by introducing this wealth tax, we potentially could put a major tool in the box to help us reduce that reliance on sales tax, as well as our current reliance on tax on a real property, like your own home,” she said.

She is joined by 25 other House Democrats who have signed on in support of the bill, though legislative leaders have said it’s too early to know if it will pass.

The tax would be imposed starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023.

Rep. Frame also spoke with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show last week. Listen to that interview here.

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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