Who is Paying in Washington State?

Following up on Charlie's post about Crosscut's article on how business says it cares about public education, here's more input from The Stranger Slog.  David Goldstein has been laying out the case against the levy swap for our school districts and the supplied graphic says it all.

King County, with roughly 29 percent of the state population, produced 42 percent of state tax revenues, yet it received back less than 26 percent of state benefits. That's a return of only 62 cents on the dollar for our state's Democratic stronghold.

Compare that to the generous $3.16 return on each dollar enjoyed by taxpayers in hard Republican Ferry County in deep northeastern Washington. All in all, only six counties qualified as "net donors" to the rest of the state—San Juan, King, Skagit, Kittitas, Whatcom, and Snohomish—while the remaining 33 counties enjoyed an average return on investment of over $1.40 on every tax dollar sent to Olympia.

If King County's school districts were funded proportionate to what King County taxpayers put into state coffers, our schools would receive an additional one billion dollars a year from the state. Local readers should remember this the next time our local newspaper advocates for a school levy swap that would shift even more of the burden of state K-12 funding onto the shoulders of King County homeowners, while providing zero additional dollars for own schools.


mirmac1 said…
What's Goldy's education and professional qualifications?!
Josh Hayes said…
To do what, mirmac? Collate publicly-available data?
Josh Hayes said…
Oh, ah, I see now. Silly me.
mirmac1 said…

What are your educational and professional qualifications...?!

Jan said…
Thanks for this post, Melissa. The levy swap was truly jaw dropping (as if "levy equalization" doesn't already drain enough tax dollars out of the Puget Sound in favor of a bunch of Eastern WA schools who refuse to support their OWN schools, and so want us to do it for them (while they pat themselves on the head for being the "makers" and call us the "takers").

If there were two things that convinced me NOT to vote for McKenna -- one was his health care lawsuit (clearly against the wishes of state government AND at least half of the state's citizens, and to torpedo a law that was upheld by a number of circuits AND the Supreme Court). The other was the levy swap. Like many Republicans, he may have been a moderate at some time in the past, but he is no longer one.

But voting for Inslee in light of his promise not to seek new taxes -- when new revenue is CLEARLY what is needed -- was also tough.
mirmac1 said…
Let's hope Inslee is trainable and does not bring the "inside the beltway" mentality with him. Those like Walton and Gates are well inside that darn belt.
AlexAdam said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
The hypocrisy cuts both ways. There is one simple fact: King County is quite wealthy compared to east of the mountains. Liberals west of the mountains argue for progressive tax in other contexts but not in the context of school funding state-wide. On the other hand Conservatives in eastern Washington rail against government redistribution of wealth but are happy to be the beneficiaries of this largesse.

Ironic isn't it?

joanna said…
arkiSeattle will increasingly become a city of only the wealthy if measures such as McKenna's Levy swap are allowed implemented. All of Seattle is gentrifying beyond what is healthy where a decreasing number of people who live here own a home or any property here.
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