Social and Economic Policy
Revenue

Promote a balanced, fair, adequate, and flexible tax structure. Establish a public bank.


Issue Team Chair: Cynthia Stewart, cstewart@lwvwa.org 
DOWNLOAD the Revenue Issue Paper
Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here! 


Bill Tracking

Weekly Reports


Bill Descriptions


Get Involved

Overview

For many years Washington State has had the most regressive tax structure in the US, and there are many unmet needs that require state funding. The implications of this are that any tax increases to address unmet needs fall disproportionately on the lowest-income people of the state, who pay six times the ratio of their incomes in state and local taxes as the highest income people. The capital gains tax, which would move the state’s structure toward more equity, was held up in court, although recently the lower court ruled that the tax can be collected pending a Supreme Court ruling on its constitutionality. The Working Families Tax Credit has been instituted, to move the lowest income taxpayers toward greater equity, and this will be a focus of additional work in 2023.

Additionally, a one percent annual cap on property tax increases has limited the state and local jurisdictions’ ability to keep up with inflation, which typically exceeds three percent annually.

A tax structure work group has been considering a variety of methods of changing the tax structure to make it more equitable and its recommendations are forthcoming shortly.

In 2023, work will continue to focus on adding tax opportunities that can help cover the cost of unmet needs from among the wealthiest populations. There will also be recommendations from the Tax Structure Work Group to consider. Among the legislation that is anticipated are bills to further the Working Families Tax Credit, establish a wealth tax, revise the state’s Business & Occupation tax and authorize local governments to increase property taxes at a rate greater than one percent annually.

Bill Tracking

League priority bills are in bold below.

Senate Bills Senate House After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
SB 5482 Concerning the margin tax. Support









SB 5486 Investing in Washington families and creating a more fair tax system by enacting a narrowly tailored property tax on extreme wealth derived from the ownership of stocks, bonds, and other financial intangible property. Support










SB 5495 Concerning property tax rebates for homeowners and renters Support









SJM 8001 Concerning a national infrastructure bank.









House Bills House Senate After Passage
Bill # Bill Name (Brief Title) League Position Take Action In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  In Committee On Floor Calendar Passed  Passed Legislature On Governor's Desk Signed
HB 1045 Creating the evergreen basic income pilot program. Supports

x








HB 1052 Providing a property tax exemption for qualified real and personal property owned or used by a nonprofit entity in providing qualified housing funded in whole or part through a local real estate excise tax Supports

x








HB 1094 Creating the Washington future fund program. Supports

x








HB 1206 Providing tax relief for newspaper publishers. Supports
x








HB 1473 Companion bill to SB 5486 above (the “wealth” tax). Supports











Weekly Reports

These weekly updates will provide you with a "deep dive" into the progress of each bill, along with more analysis of the potential impact of the bill if it should pass. 


Bill Descriptions

HB 1045 Creating the evergreen basic income pilot program, would establish a pilot project to test the feasibility of a basic income program in Washington State.  The pilot would provide a cash benefit to the participants equal to the monthly rent of an average two-bedroom housing unit in the county of residence.  This project benefit would not supplant existing benefits. There are a number of eligibility requirements.  The proposal stems from a DSHS feasibility study that was completed in June 2022.

HB 1052 Providing a property tax exemption for qualified real and personal property owned or used by a nonprofit entity in providing qualified housing funded in whole or part through a local real estate excise tax. This bill would create a financial incentive to nonprofit organizations that provide affordable housing.

HB 1094 Creating the Washington future fund program, is intended to reduce wealth-building barriers to combat persistent poverty and promote economic resilience for Washingtonians by establishing a fund to be invested at birth and support qualifying individuals by making payments on behalf of eligible individuals between 18 and 35 years of age for education, training, and professional development; purchase of a residence; or creation or purchase of a business. The Fund would be managed by the State’s investment board and the program would be overseen by an appointed Future Fund committee.

SB 5482 Concerning the margin tax. This bill is intended to create greater equity in the business and occupation tax structure, and thereby hardships on new businesses, small businesses, and unprofitable and low profit-margin businesses by shifting from the gross-receipts basis to one based on revenue after certain deductions or percentage reduction.

SB 5486 Called the “wealth tax”, is titled “Investing in Washington families and creating a more fair tax system by enacting a narrowly tailored property tax on extreme wealth derived from the ownership of stocks, bonds, and other financial intangible property.”

SB 5495 Concerning property tax rebates for homeowners and renters, would create a new Title in the RCW pertaining to rebates for primary residence owners and portions of payments in rent attributable to property tax.

SJM 8001 Concerning a national infrastructure bank, would request that Congress pass and the President of the United States sign the National Infrastructure Bank Act or similar legislation. This has been supported by the League in past years but has not passed the legislature.

How To Be Involved
  • Respond to Action Alerts in the legislative newsletter. These will primarily appear in the section of the newsletter related to revenue.
  • Contact Cynthia Stewart, Revenue Issue Chair, cstewart@lwvwa.org to receive additional information.

The League of Women Voters of Washington is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.
The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.

League of Women Voters of the United States

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software