Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Washington State Budget

Washington lawmakers go into second special session on the state budget. Inslee takes capital gains tax off the table.
Washington State Lawmakers Hard at Work on the Budget?
The Republican-led Washington Senate and Democratically-controlled state House can't agree on how to raise the money needed to meet a state Supreme Court mandate to adequately fund public schools. Republicans proposed an increase in property taxes, and an elimination of local school levies. Inslee and Democrats proposed a capital gains tax, and a carbon tax. No one has proposed a state income tax. Odd.

Washington is one of just four states that doesn’t tax any individual or corporate income. We get most of our revenues from sales taxes -- 78%. Our combined state and average local sales-tax rate is 8.9 percent, the nation’s fifth-highest. Washington is No. 1 for liquor sales tax, and we’re in the top 10 for taxes on gasoline and cigarettes. And now Washington expects to make about $730 million from sales of legalized marijuana over the next two years. Sounds like a lot, but it's a pittance relative to our $41.3 billion total revenues that bankroll the state.

Let's either find something else to tax, say vitamin water (we already taxed physical fitness services) or institute an income tax. That way we won't be known for socking it to the poor to pay for operating the state.

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