[EDITOR’S NOTEThe following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff.]

Hello Burien neighbors,

Last year, Washington State launched the Working Families Tax Credit, a tax refund that puts $50-$1,200 a year back in the pockets of working people in our community at tax time.

Almost 190,000 households in Washington have received support through the credit thus far. This is great news, but unfortunately, people without kids must be 25-65 years old to be eligible, which leaves out most working young adults (18-24) and elders (65+) in our community who would otherwise qualify.

The people who live and work in Burien are resourceful, hardworking, and determined. And yet, many struggle to meet the demands of rising housing costs, while our minimum wage remains lower than neighboring cities and inflation makes stretching wages difficult. More low-income seniors are working now than at any point during the previous 25 years. And many young adults are  trying to save for their own futures while making low wages and helping to support family members. From young college students to seniors still in the workforce, people with low incomes in Burien are all just trying to make ends meet.

When I was a young adult, I struggled to get established on my own after growing up in poverty and surviving family homelessness. Even working 2 or 3 jobs in the early years on my own, without financial resources or family support to fall back on, I was afraid and anxious much of the time that my efforts to establish myself would fail. Now, as someone in mid-life, I often think about whether I will be able to maintain financial stability when I reach 65+. Young adulthood and senior years are both times of vulnerability and transition for all of us, and I know our state can do better in ensuring the avenues we put in place to support working people are inclusive of allwho could benefit.

We need to broaden eligibility for the Working Families Tax Credit! Advocates are working to get an expansion to the tax credit passed in the upcoming 2024 legislative session that will include 18–24-year-olds and those over 65. House bill 1075 would make sure seniors and young adults can qualify for a cash boost through the Working Families Tax Credit. 

Will you take action? Our voices are needed to be sure our representatives understand that this is something we need to support our city and community. You can help! Reach out to our state legislative representatives and ask that they support HB 1075 and expand the Working Families Tax Credit in 2024. In Burien, our representatives are Joe Nguyen, Emily Alvarado and Joe Fitzgibbon and they need to hear from us!

You can find your representative and contact information at this link.  

Are you just hearing about this tax credit and wondering how to apply? There’s still time. Head to www.workingfamiliecredit.wa.gov to find out more. 

Thank you, and here’s to greater support for ALL of us to thrive in Burien!

Leit Myers
Burien Resident

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