A 10 a.m. House Ways and Means Committee meeting today is the first official public hearing for some of the most talked-about tax ideas of the session.
That includes tax increases that freshmen House Democrats are pitching as long-term ways to stabilize the state’s revenue collections. The ideas are long shots in that they would require either two-thirds majorities or public votes.
Tacoma Rep. Laurie Jinkins has proposed a new capital gains tax and she and other freshmen have signed on to a bill by Seattle Rep. Reuven Carlyle that would put expiration dates on most of Washington’s tax breaks.
House Republicans have a tax measure on the agenda today that they once opposed. Chehalis Rep. Richard DeBolt‘s proposal now has bipartisan support and would narrow a tax break for banks.
Then there’s a measure by Olympia Rep. Sam Hunt that would allow cities and counties to raise a wide variety of taxes, which House Democrats want to give them in exchange for a wide array of state cuts that hit local budgets. Expect to hear from local governments saying they can’t handle the cuts even with taxes, from businesses complaining about the potential tax burden, and from environmentalists upset that the bill would also roll back regulations on local governments.