The Senate approved a budget plan today that is similar to the one it passed in April, with no new tax revenue. But the Senate Republican-dominated majority held out an offer of adding new taxes — if Democrats in the House agree to their policy goals.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state Senate has approved a revised budget plan similar to a proposal the chamber passed during the regular session as part of an overall plan that makes some concessions on revenue if certain reform bills are passed.
The measure passed on a 25-23 vote Saturday.
The plan includes a requirement that nonresidents apply for sales tax refunds instead of getting them automatically, and ends a tax break for residential phone services.
The budget proposal doesn’t seek to close additional tax exemptions as the Democratic-controlled House did in its budget proposal passed earlier this week, which also eliminated the sales tax exemption on bottled water. The Senate plan also offers a fix to a recent ruling on the estate tax that could cost the state millions of dollars in refunds.
However, Sen. Andy Hill, a Republican from Redmond who is the key budget writer for the chamber, said that the revenue-related bills won’t pass off the Senate floor “until we get the reforms we’re asking for.”
The reforms include:
- A cap on future non-education spending.
- Allowing lenders to offer a new kind of high-interest consumer loan.
- Authority for principals to refuse assignment of a teacher.
- Changes in how taxes on hazardous substances are spent.
- Expansion of settlement options in the state system of workers’ compensation insurance.
Senate leaders didn’t reveal how many have to pass to meet their demands, saying they have given Democrats several options.