fair & Adequate revenue

Adopt fair revenue policies to adequately fund services and functions critical to the well-being of the people of our state.

Issue Team Chair: Cynthia Stewart – stewdahl [at] comcast.net
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Looking Towards the 2020 Session - starting January 13

In 2019, the Legislature adopted its biennial budget without approving significant new revenue. This means that although there were no cuts in major programs, and there were even some enhancements in some programs, new initiatives were largely not possible. The proposed carbon tax and capital gains tax were not approved and neither were major changes to the tax exemptions that could have increased revenue.

Given that the 2020 session is the second half of the biennium, it is unlikely that these revenues will be approved in the 2020 session either. And to a large extent, what may occur in the 2020 session will revolve around whether or not the voters approve I-976, which will significantly affect transportation if approved by the voters.

Since the state of Washington tax structure remains the most regressive in the nation, 2020 would be a good year to adopt 2SHB 2117 providing a pathway to modernize and rebalance the Washington state tax structure so that it is equitable, adequate, stable, and transparent for the people of Washington state. If that bill were passed, it could lead to significant measures to make the state tax structure less regressive in 2021.

    Bills the League Supported in 2019 That Did Not Pass...and are still alive for 2020
    • HB 1703 Increasing tax exemption transparency and accountability. The Department of Revenue report on all tax exemptions and their fiscal impact would be updated every 2 years instead of 4 years. Any tax exemption that has NO sunset and reduces revenues by over $50,000/year or $100,000/biennium would appear in the budget documents and have to be proactively reauthorized as part of the budget or it would sunset. If the Legislature has taken no action on reviewing and clarifying or adding a sunset on a tax exemption which the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee and Citizens Commission on Tax Preferences have recommended to be ended or clarified, and the tax exemption reduces revenues by over $50,000/year or $100,000/biennium, then the exemption would appear in the budget documents and require re-adoption in the budget or it would sunset.
    • 2SHB 2117 / SB 5973 Providing a pathway to modernize and rebalance the Washington state tax structure so that it is equitable, adequate, stable, and transparent for the people of Washington state.

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