Help has arrived
A program to provide tax relief to low-income families is off the ground, 15 years after it was first approved by the Washington state Legislature.
The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) provides up to $1,200 in tax credits to households that hit specific income thresholds. The amount that they get comes in increments of $300, depending on the number of children that they have.
A single person making $16,480 a year or a couple without kids who file jointly and make up to $22,610 can get $300. A single person with three children making $53,057 or a married couple with three kids making $59,187 can get the full $1,200.
The Legislature passed the WFTC in 2008 to support low-income families, many of whom would otherwise receive the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which has similar eligibility requirements.
However, the state didn’t fund the program until 2021 and it wasn’t accessible until this year. So, it sat on the books, making no impact.
“The new Working Families Tax Credit means putting up to $1,200 back into the pockets of Seattle families, real dollars that will make a real difference for those in need,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell in a statement.
Now, it’s a matter of educating families on and connecting them with the new resource.
Electoral season swings
Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda declared a run for King County Council District 8 on Feb. 2, a seat that Joe McDermott, the current occupant, plans to vacate when his term ends.
It was an announcement that PubliCola called “the worst kept secret in Seattle politics right now” when it reported rumors of Mosqueda’s run on Jan. 30.
In her announcement, Mosqueda cited issues such as preventing displacement, creating affordable child care and investing in public health — which she championed at the City Council level — as reasons to take over the District 8 seat.
District 8 is her home, Mosqueda said in a release.
“I will work with urgency, and in collaboration with community and local leaders, to expand economic opportunities and improve the health of every King County neighbor,” she said.
If Mosqueda doesn’t win the seat, she will still serve on the Seattle City Council. Her term ends at the end of 2025.
Four other sitting Seattle councilmembers have decided not to run for reelection. Councilmembers Tammy Morales (District 2) and Andrew Lewis (District 7) have formally announced their intention to run. Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6) has not said what he’ll do, one way or another.
Spare a thought for your favorite reporters come primary season, dear reader.
Ashley Archibald is the editor of Real Change News.
Read more of the Feb. 8-14, 2023 issue.