On the road: Working Families Tax Credit, paraeducators and EV chargers

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Thanks to the Working Families Tax Credit, Washington’s tax system is becoming more equitable. On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee traveled to Clark County to raise awareness for this year-old program. He met with people applying for the credit, including Isela Wingfield, a single mother of two boys who is eligible for a $940 refund this year. The WFTC provides a tax refund of up to $1,255 for Washingtonians who meet the income threshold and eligibility requirements.

Married couples with a total income of up to $63,398 may be eligible for this program.  The state has partnered with outreach groups to work with applicants, help people determine eligibility and fill out the necessary forms to claim this tax credit.

Two people stands in front of a sign displaying "Working Family Tax Credit," representing financial support for families.
Gov. Inslee with Isela Wingfield, a resident of Clark County who is applying for the Working Families Tax Credit this year.

The governor also met with teachers, paraeducators, school officials, parents and students at Ogden Elementary School. During a roundtable discussion, paraeducator Rocio Zavala-Ortiz emphasized the benefits of providing one-on-one attention to kids in the classroom. She also talked about how much it means to kids to work with paraeducators who “look like them.” For some of the kids at Ogden who speak English as a second language, having a paraeducator who can translate material on the fly has made a world of difference to helping them stay engaged with their learning material.

As needs for special education programs have increased statewide, Washington is grappling with a shortage of paraeducators. The governor's supplementary budget proposal includes additional funding to recruit and retain paraeducators by providing for a $3 per hour raise for paraeducators.

The governor’s final stop of the day celebrated Washington’s latest action to combat climate change – grants to build 5,000 electric vehicle chargers statewide. The governor stopped by the parking lot of a restaurant in Vancouver to see the site of some of these planned, publicly available chargers. He spoke with Natalie Mendoza, the COO of Be the Light of the World, the nonprofit tasked with building some of the new chargers. A few of her colleagues and family members joined her to meet the governor. Thanks in part to their work, the future is looking bright in Clark County.

More about the day: