Democratic budget negotiators officially unveiled their long-awaited tax plan this afternoon.
If leaders decide they have the votes, the House could vote as soon as today on the $667 million package, followed later by the Senate. Other legislation bumps the total revenue to about $800 million, with most of the difference coming from a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase.
The plan would:
- Increase business taxes on most service businesses – such as lawyers and accountants – from the current 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent. The increase would last three years and a tax credit for small businesses would permanently double. Raises $242 million.
- End a tax exemption for certain out-of-state businesses that do sales in Washington through representatives. Raises $155 million.
- Triple the beer tax, adding about 28 cents to cost of a six-pack. The increase would last three years and microbrewers’ first 60,000 barrels would be exempt. Raises $59 million.
- Increase tax on soda pop by 2 cents per 12-ounces of pop, also for three years. Bottlers’ first $10 million in sales would be exempt. Raises $34 million.
- Apply sales tax to bottled water, also for three years. Raises $33 million. There are exemptions for people who don’t have potable water or have a medical need for bottled water.
- Apply sales tax to candy and gum, permanently. Candy makers will get a $1,000 tax credit for each of their Washington employees for the next two years. Raises $31 million.