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Tag: taxes

April
25th

UPDATE – Senate GOP calls press conference to blame House, Democrats for all-but-certain special session

UPDATE: As several Senate Democrats pointed out on Thursday, Republicans’ political campaign committee is holding a fundraiser at Monday at a private residence in Olympia. The event, which is confirmed in an email obtained by reporters today, is at 9 a.m. in a home owned by lobbyists Steve and Kathleen Gano near the Capitol. Whether lawmakers are in session Monday or not, the fundraiser would not violate the state’s freeze on fundraising for officials during session. 

On a day their budget negotiators had more talks with Gov. Jay Inslee and also House Democratic budget leaders, a half-dozen Republicans in the Senate Majority Coalition called

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April
24th

Budget battle is joined as House passes $905M tax plan with bare minimum 50 votes; 5 Democrats vote no

Majority Democrats used their superior numbers in the state House to muscle through a $905 million tax package aimed at funding education today on a 50-to-47 vote.  Five Democrats – Reps. Kathy Haigh of Shelton, Chris Hurst of Enumclaw, Dawn Morrell of Puyallup, Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor and Monica Stonier of Vancouver – crossed over to join Republicans who united against it.

Mike Baker of the Associated Press has this story on the floor action: OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Democrats in the Washington state House moved ahead Wednesday with a plan that would increase tax revenue by

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April
23rd

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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April
22nd

UPDATE 2: Eyman says his new initiative limits tax hikes to one year; also requires advisory votes

Tim Eyman says he’s filing a new initiative that, among other things, would limit future tax increases to one year. UPDATE: Monday he wasn’t saying when he’ll file – this year or next. Today, Eyman says he is filing it at 11 a.m. tomorrow, April 24.

The move is in part a reaction to the state Supreme Court  throwing out his Initiative 960 which set a two-thirds vote requirement for Legislature-imposed tax increases into law.

Even before losing that case by a solid 6-to-3 margin in court, he’s since been agitating for a constitutional amendment to lock in that higher

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April
18th

Ready for a road trip? As special session beckons, Senate Majority Leader Tom suggests statewide budget tour

If Washington state lawmakers ever sipped truth serum, they’d probably fess right up: A special session is just around the corner in Olympia. But with 10 days left in the regular 105-day session, and lots of political positioning still left to do, leaders are taking a more nuanced position on the dance floor.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom first insisted there was no need for a special session – as though wishing such things makes them so. But then he declared that he’d like to take Senate and House legislative leaders on a statewide tour – “20 towns

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March
22nd

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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Jan.
30th

Report: Washington still has least-fair tax system in country; hits the poor six times harder than the wealthy

The beauty of a tax system is always in the eye of a beholder, and some business rankings say Washington state’s business climate is good partly because of its lack of an income tax. But a report by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy rates Washington state’s system as the worst in the country in terms of how much harder it hits the poor and middle-class than the rich. Lack of an income tax is a clear factor.

ITEP, based in Washington, D.C., found that all states’ tax systems are actually weighted in favor of the wealthy. In other words, those well off pay a smaller share of income in state and local taxes than do the poor. But Washington was at the top of what ITEP calls the “Terrible Ten.”

“In these ‘Terrible Ten’ states, the bottom 20 percent pay up to six times as much of their income in taxes as their wealthy counterparts. Washington State is the most regressive, followed by Florida, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Alabama,” the report’s executive summary states.

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