Tax Policy

New special report: Has the State Finally Closed the Book on McCleary?

In a new special report, we dig in to EHB 2242, the education funding bill passed by the Legislature this session. Briefly:

Tax Foundation says the rich in America didn't pay significantly higher taxes in the 1950s

Recently The Tax Foundation looked into the commonly held belief that rich Americans used to pay much higher income taxes in the 1950s than they do today. It found that the difference between then and now isn't actually that significant:

Washington has highest estate tax in the nation

Last month the Tax Foundation came out with a special report on state's inheritance and estate taxes, which included a special distinction for Washington state:

The Evergreen State imposes the highest top marginal estate tax rate in the nation, imposing a 20 percent rate on taxable estate values above $9 million. The state has an inflation-adjusted exemption which currently stands at $2.129 million.

Our Seattle Times op-ed on manufacturing jobs & state tax policy

We have an op-ed in today's Seattle Times on Gov. Inslee's recent veto of a reduced Business & Occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturing companies in Washington state. We argue that manufacturing jobs are a crucial component of providing workers with good-paying middle-class jobs, and that tax incentives will encourage companies to come here, stay here and possibly expand here:

The operating budget compromise included a reduction of the B&O tax rate for all manufacturers—will it be signed by the governor?

In order to balance the operating budget, the Legislature passed two bills that will increase revenues by an estimated $2.070 billion in 2017–19 and $3.358 billion in 2019–21. 

We're Number 25...in wine taxes

Washington ranks right in the middle nationally for wine taxes, according to new numbers from the Tax Foundation. Check out their map to see how we compare to other states:

There may be support for proposed online sales tax, but could Washington actually collect any revenues?

The 2017–19 operating budget that was passed by the House earlier this year assumes enactment of several new taxes. These include requiring remote sellers, marketplace facilitators and referrers to collect and remit sales taxes on online purchases made by Washington residents or report the sales to the Department of Revenue (so that it could then collect use taxes from the buyers directly). It’s estimated that it would increase revenues by $329.2 million in 2017–19.

Seattle income tax details and legal questions

Last month, the Seattle City Council approved a resolution calling for a city income tax. A proposed ordinance has now been released, and there will be a hearing tomorrow.

Seattle is a taxing place

The Seattle City Council’s Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance Committee will meet tomorrow to possibly vote on the proposed pop tax (technically “a tax on engaging in the business of distributing sweetened beverages”) and to discuss an income tax for the city. (See today's 

When it comes to public policy, watch your phraseology!

Opportunity Washington has a good post on tax policy terminology that links to a new paper about getting past the

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