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Tag: J.T. Wilcox


UPDATE – Déjà vu on estate tax: House Finance OKs new version of bill on party-line vote


The House Finance Committee voted (8 to 3) along party lines this morning to close a loophole in Washington’s estate tax that was created by a Supreme Court ruling in the Bracken case last year. Lawmakers say the ruling left married couples’ estates untaxed, while single persons’ estates would be subject to the tax on estates valued at more than $2 million.

House Bill 2064 now goes to the House floor for a vote on Thursday – having to go through the process a second time because it did not pass the Senate in

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House tax package clears first committee on party-line vote; beer no longer in $900M bill

The House Finance Committee has voted 8-to-5 along party lines to approve a $900 million tax package. The biggest piece of House Bill 2038 is the permanent extension of a business-occupations tax surcharge that otherwise expires in June. But in its scaled-back form, it no longer extends the temporary tax surcharge on beer that was adopted in 2010.

Republicans offered a series of amendments seeking to omit elements of the package – everything from closure of a tax-break for out of state shoppers to a tax on certain imports and bottled water. A final striking amendment from

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House Finance votes 8-to-5 on party line Monday to repair estate tax after Supreme Court ruling; GOP objects to retroactive language

Republican Rep. Terry Nealey of Dayton offered an amendment to cut off the state’s claim to taxes back only as far as 2005. This cutoff date would have avoided the threat of further litigation, according to Nealey. But it would protect the state against only $30 million in claims – a fraction of the estimated $160 million cost of the court’s ruling.

And the debate on this tax is occurring in a year that Democrats are looking for extra money anywhere they can to put into K-12 schools and higher education.

In the end, majority Democrats used their larger numbers

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Washington becoming low-tax state? One new report ranks state at No. 28 for tax burden, another puts it down at 36th

The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation put out its new report on state and local taxes this week and it shows Washington is a below-average state for taxes. The Evergreen State landed No. 28 out of 50 states for high taxes, which means 22 states were lower and 27 were higher when state and local government taxes were compared to total incomes.

The national report pegged Washington’s state-local tax burden at about 9.3 percent of incomes in 2010.

Washington ranked even lower in a January report from the state Department of Revenue – linked here

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South Sound lawmakers in the 2nd, 22nd districts holding town hall meetings on Saturday


Republican Reps. Gary Alexander and J.T. Wilcox are planning a few town hall meetings Saturday in the 2nd Legislative District. The three events are in:

  •  Graham – 10-11 a.m.: Graham Fire Station No. 4, 23014 70th Avenue E.
  •  Lacey – 1:30-2:30 p.m.: Lacey Fire Station No. 34, 8407 Steilacoom Road SE.
  • Yelm – 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Yelm Public Safety Building, 206 McKenzie Avenue SE,

More details are here. The 2nd is a sprawling district that runs from the outskirts of south Lacey to Rainier, Yelm, and into Eatonville in Pierce County.


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GOP Sen. Dammeier says $1B for schools is under consideration

Lawmakers have been reluctant to say too precisely how much money they’ll put toward K-12 public schools to answer a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is failing to meet its constitutional obligations. But in a Sunday forum drawing education leaders in Olympia, Republican Sen. Bruce Dammeier of Puyallup said his caucus will be proposing a “significant” investment in the “billionish range,” according to this blog post by Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald.

Cornfield went on to write:

Sitting alongside Dammeier in the panel, Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said he’d like to see lawmakers

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UPDATE – A little floor tiff is brewing Friday over House rules

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt said this week that his minority caucus wants to change session rules to make it harder to raise taxes.  His worry is that the state Supreme Court might toss out Tim Eyman’s two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases. The GOP apparently wants the rules to require a two-thirds vote before a tax bill can move to final reading – in effect giving the minority veto power over tax bills.

Except for possible technical changes, the Democratic majority wants to keep rules pretty much intact from past sessions. So the Eyman amendment, if you will, isn’t

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