On the one hand, the Tax Foundation consistently says that Washington has one of the top ten best business tax climates. We rank sixth in their 2013 index. But the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy's most recent "Who Pays?" report says Washington is the state with the most regressive tax system.
So who's right?
They both are. One of the reasons the Tax Foundation has Washington in a privileged spot is because we don't have a state income tax.
And what makes our state's tax system uber-regressive is best explained in a brand new study prepared by the Office of Financial Management, where we found that:
The state's poorest 20 percent pay 9 percent of their personal incomes in state and local taxes, while the richest 20 percent pay just 2 percent. You read correctly, the reality in our state is that the poor pay 4.5 times as much, percentage-wise.
This Crosscut story has more information on how poor folks are stuck with a larger chunk of the bill.