Letter to the Editor by SEIU 775 Caregiver, Barb McQueen

I’ve been an in-home caregiver since I was 17 years old, and I am now past the age when most people retire. At the beginning of this pandemic, our lawmakers called caregivers like me essential, and across the state we worked to keep our clients out of hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients. And while we do this essential work, we’re also the ones who are paying outrageous taxes; way more than our fair share compared to our wealthy neighbors.  

I’ve kept working, caring for my client who also lives in Sequim, all through this pandemic. I have to keep working just to make my bills every month, all while also paying 5 times more of my income in taxes than the mega-wealthy in our state. It’s these few individuals in our state who’ve profited extraordinarily during the pandemic and its long past time they paid their fair share as those of us who worry about buying groceries or paying for a medication.   

I thank Senator Kevin Van De Wege for supporting the working people of Sequim, like me, by voting to add a capital gains tax on extraordinary profits (SB 5096) and strongly urge Representatives Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger to pass it also. We deserve an economy and a tax system which works for everyone, not just the wealthy. 

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