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Despite our best efforts, the Washington State Legislature adjourned April 24, 2005 amidst a flurry of tax and spending. They just don’t get it! The voters overwhelmingly said “NO” to new taxes with the defeat of I-884 and they have blatantly ignored the message.
The following bills passed by the slimmest of margins. Check out the attached vote charts to see how well your elected officials are representing you and let them know what you think. Toll-free legislative hotline: 1-800-562-6000.
HB 2314 - Package of "sin taxes" and other revenue bills
Raises the per-pack tax on cigarettes by 60 cents raising $175 million, adds $1.33 to a liter of liquor generating $50 million and applies the sales tax to the cost of extended warranties on consumer products.
Passed the Senate 25-22
Passed the House 50-48
SB 6096 – Death Tax
Reinstates the estate tax on properties of $1.5 million or greater until the end of the year; the threshold then rises to $2 million. The new estate tax is expected to bring in $139 million. The state Supreme Court recently threw out the old version of the tax.
Passed the Senate 25-21
Passed the House 5048
HB 2622 – Transportation Budget/Gas Tax Increase
$8.5 billion package adds an additional and cumulative motor vehicle fuel tax rate of nine and one half cents per gallon to the current twenty eight cents per gallon.. Also adds weight fees to all vehicles, motor home fees, and plate and licensing fee increases.
Passed the Senate 26-22
Passed the House 54-43
SB 6090 – State General Fund Operating Budget
This unsustainable budget increases state spending by twelve percent over last biennium. Relies on new taxes totaling approximately $500 million.
Passed the Senate 25-22
Passed the House 56 – 42
SB 6078 – Modifying Initiative 601, the state expenditure limit
Current law limits the growth in state general fund spending to the average rate of state population increase and inflation during the prior three years. This bill changes that standard to ninety percent of the growth rate in Washington personal income. The bill also eliminates the requirement for a two-thirds majority to raise taxes and changes it to a simple majority, and adds an emergency clause that prevents voters from appealing the bill via referendum.
Passed the Senate 25-16
Passed the House 50-43
HB 2314 – Senate amendment 663
Amendment would have eliminated the increased cigarette tax from the revenue package. Failed the Senate 23-24.
No vote taken in House