Schmudget Blog

Governor’s Veto of Unnecessary, Short-Sighted Tax Giveaway Is the Right Move for Washington’s Future

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn at Jul 07, 2017 05:10 PM |

Statement by Executive Director Misha Werschkul
 
The Washington State Budget & Policy Center applauds Governor Jay Inslee for vetoing part 2 of Senate Bill 5977, which would have reduced the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate applied to manufacturers that do business in Washington state. As we previously noted, this tax giveaway that was snuck into the budget at the eleventh hour without any transparency or accountability measures would have been a bad deal for our state.

 

Once fully implemented, this giveaway would have eliminated $39 million per year in funding that could have otherwise supported schools and other key investments that form the foundation of thriving communities and a strong state economy.

It is unacceptable that this bill didn't include any of the standard transparency and accountability provisions applied to other recently enacted tax breaks – such as applying ways to evaluate its efficacy or including an expiration date.

While some will argue not adding this new tax break to Washington’s tax code will hurt jobs, there is no reason to believe that reducing the B&O tax rate for manufacturers will have a perceptible impact on the strength of the state economy and job market.

Now is the time to clean up our state’s tax code, not add new tax breaks to the books. The governor has made a fiscally responsible decision at a time when our state has to be prepared to shoulder the costs of devastating potential cuts from the federal level and when investments in our communities should be the top priority. The rejection of this bad policy will ensure our state is better set up to be a great place to go to school, to work, and to build a business.

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Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team was in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our testimonies on TVW:
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