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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Support Washington wealth tax

By Patrick Keyes, CAMAS
Published: April 9, 2023, 6:00am

I’m a home care provider working in Vancouver and a member of SEIU 775. I was a teacher, but started in this profession because I knew my mother wouldn’t cope in a nursing home.

With age, many of us may lose control of our balance and fall, unable to get up. Many struggle to reach the bathroom or clean ourselves after accidents. Many, perhaps most, need help.

But there is a home care provider shortage in Washington, leading to long waitlists for elderly and people with disabilities to receive care. It is physically and emotionally demanding work, and I wish I could do it without struggling to come up with enough for rent, groceries, and getting loved ones a few Christmas presents.

House Bill 1473/Senate Bill 5486 would raise billions for not just disability care, but also education, affordable housing, and tax credits for working people with a 1 percent tax on financial wealth exceeding $250 million. It wouldn’t be a tax for most anyone reading this. With the capital gains tax ruled constitutional, this isn’t an “out there” idea. It’s an act of love.

Urge your legislators to vote “Yes” on the wealth tax via the Legislative Hotline (1-800-562-6000).

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