Tax fairness is a vital goal at all levels of government. A fair tax system asks citizens to contribute to the cost of government activities and services based on their ability to pay.
Few people consider a tax system to be fair, if the poorer you are, the greater share of your income you pay in taxes. But that’s exactly what the regressive tax systems of our states do. Some are slightly regressive and others are astoundingly regressive. (Washington state is the worst by far in this regard.) And though the federal income tax is progressive in principle, it is riddled with loopholes and tax breaks that favor the rich and make the favored even richer. “Soaking the poor” is not just unfair; it also makes for a tax system that is inadequate, unsustainable, unstable, inefficient and corrosive of citizens’ trust in their government.