WA Senate Democrats Want to Close 4 Tax Loopholes, Tax Bottled Water, For Education
Democrats in the Senate want to close four tax exemptions or loopholes as they and Governor Inslee call them, to raise money for education.
They say the plan would raise $100-plus million for schools next year, and over $200 million over the next two. The legislators are attempting to respond to the controversial state Supreme Court ruling that claims they are not funding schools to legally-mandated levels (The McCleary Decision).
Democrats have offered up a slimmed-down version of Gov. Inslee’s plan, which would have eliminated as many as 7 tax breaks to raise the funds. According to The Olympian newspaper, these are the “loopholes” that would be changed or eliminated:
*An extracted fuel exemption worth $31.7 million this year and $59.1 million in the next biennium. The exemption was meant for pulp mills in 1949 but used by oil refineries once they moved into the state starting in the 1950s. (Eliminated).
*A sales tax on bottled water that voters rejected a few years ago in an initiative that also targeted a pop tax. It would raise $24.3 million this year and $48.2 million over two years. (Bold lettering added for emphasis). (Tax would be added).
*A sales tax exemption for out of state shoppers from states with low sales taxes. It would be worth $29 million this year and $61.3 million over two years. (Eliminated-Oregon shoppers would pay sales tax).
*A preferential tax rate would end for re-sellers of prescription drugs, which Democrats say would require that out of state firms warehousing medications in Washington would pay the same rate others pay. It could raise $15.6 million this year and $34.3 million over the next biennium. (Eliminated).