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Washington taxes poor the most of any state, report finds

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Photo courtesy of mrcheckout.net

WASHINGTON — A report produced by a progressive tax policy advocate found that Washington state taxes the poor — or the 20 percent earning the lowest income — higher than any other state in the nation.

According to a new report released from the nonprofit Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, poor families in Washington pay 16.9 percent of their total income to state and local taxes. The second highest is Illinois at 13.8 percent and Florida at 13.3 percent.

The report classified Washington’s poor as those earning an average group income of less than $11,500 per year. The Top 1 percent of Washington state income earners, those averaging $1,131,500 per year, only paid 2.8 percent of their income in taxes.

Vermont is home to the least regressive tax system in the nation, the report found.

“Every state could stand to improve its tax treatment of low- and moderate-income families,” the report read. “However, some states have an especially great need to consider the reforms outlined in this report.”

The burden of taxes on low-income earners is particularly high now because one-in-six people live in poverty, the ITEP claims. The nonprofit recommended instituting new tax policies such as creating a child-related local credit, expanding circuit breaker tax programs to include all ages and increasing the size of the earned income tax credit to alleviate the tax burden on the poor.

For more information on this study, click here.

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