On Saturday, May 21st, a group of Auburn residents, led by Patti Larsen, a teacher in the Auburn school district, went to Auburn’s Chase bank branch to talk to Chase about an issue that is affecting those in Auburn and all across the state. The lack of tax revenue has affected everything from schools, to job creation, to healthcare for the needy and other public services.
Those needs can be addressed by increasing the tax revenue the state brings in. The $81 million in state tax revenues lost last year to a loophole exploited by Chase and other big banks as well as the $1.4 billion federal tax refund Chase is seeking now only results in harm to our fellow community members who need taxpayer-funded services the most.
Chase’s pattern of voraciously pursuing state and tax loopholes and refunds in the midst of tremendous community suffering brought on by pinched state and federal budgets is what Patti and our crew went to Chase to address.
In addition to passing out information on the concerns of their community organization, Working Washington, this delegation delivered a letter to the local branch manager at Chase and asked him to pass it along to his boss in Seattle.
In this letter, this delegation from our community asked Chase to give back its share of the $81 million Chase and other banks pocketed last year through a Washington State tax loophole, so that those precious taxpayer resources instead can be invested in the communities here in Washington who so desperately need it.
The letter presented to the bank manager appears below:
We are a group of concerned Auburn residents writing to request that Chase bank pay back its share of a Washington state tax loophole which depleted Washington’s state tax revenues last year by $81 million in order to stop the cuts to quality education for our kids.
In Auburn alone, $5.3 million was cut last year from our school district. The cuts have increased class sizes, jeopardized music, science and math programs, and will make it more difficult for Auburn children to get the quality education they deserve. The school district is facing another $5.6 million in cuts this year.
On top of that, higher education is suffering. Tuition is rising at our local Highline Community College. Students continue to face steep debt in order to get a college opportunity.
Our kids deserve a good education, and a chance to build a better future. Yet, during these difficult economic times, Chase has exploited a tax loophole depriving this community of tax revenues it desperately needs only to pay, its CEO $20 million, and rake in $29 billion in profits since the bailout.
Chase claims to give back to the community, but our community is still suffering while Chase is prospering. We demand that Chase do the right thing and pay its fair share.
Please ensure this letter is forwarded to JP Morgan Chase Chairman Phyllis Campbell so she can schedule a time to meet with us to discuss how Chase plans to return this loophole money to the community.
Auburn community members
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