|February 19, 2018|
Sullivan and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Andy Billig addressed AWB members and lobbyists at the third and final 2018 Lobby Lunch Thursday, giving updates to the state budget, rural broadband and whether the governor’s carbon tax proposal has the votes to make it out of the 2018 session.
Sullivan answered a question about how strong state revenue forecasts, released Thursday, affected the Legislature’s plans on taxes.
“It doesn’t change our plans,” Sullivan said. “…There was no proposal in the House or in the Senate that I’m aware of that was seriously considering to raise revenues.”
He also said legislators are going to town hall meetings over the weekend, and, “I can guarantee you the number one thing they’re going to hear about is property taxes.”
Property tax relief bills will pop up soon, he said.
There are other tax proposals still working through the Legislature, however, including one for capital gains.
“The capital gains proposal in the House doesn’t raise taxes. It actually reduces property taxes at commensurate rates,” Sullivan said.
In essence, it’s an offset – pass a new capital gains tax and lower property taxes with the collections.
AWB testified against that proposal, House Bill 2967, Friday. The bill would “ask the state's citizens to reduce the state property tax levy and replace it with the capital gains excise tax,” according to the bill summary.
Billed as a tax on “high-income earners,” AWB Government affairs Director Clay Hill expressed the business community’s opposition to the bill before the House Finance Committee, noting that the tax would not be applied uniformly or broadly, something he said good tax policy should do, and would affect residents other than high-income earners.
The carbon tax bill is also alive in the Legislature. Sullivan and Billig gave the audience their perspective.
“Unless there’s a bipartisan vote in the House, it’s not going to go anywhere,” Sullivan said. “We made it clear over the last several sessions that we don’t have 50 votes in the House to pass a carbon tax.”
According to Billig, it’s an open question in the Senate.
“I think it’s open, whether it’s got the support on the floor,” he said.
The tax discussion is underway as state officials report the biggest state revenue collections in many years. Washington’s projected tax collections for the 2017-19 state budget have increased by nearly $628 million, the state Office of Financial Management announced Thursday. Officials also project an increase of $660 million for the 2019-21 budget years
« Back to Main