Schmudget Blog
— filed under: ,

Tax Break Transparency Bill Passes House

Posted by michaelm at Apr 26, 2013 07:20 PM |
Filed under: ,

Earlier today, Senate Bill 5843, a measure that would place strict transparency and accountability requirements on all future tax breaks passed out of the House  on a bipartisan vote. The House adopted a series of changes to the measure, which will have to be approved by the Senate before it can be sent to Governor Inslee and signed into law.

The adopted changes to SB 5843 significantly strengthen the legislation. Specifically, the revamped bill:

  • Incorporates a 10 year sunset date for all new tax breaks: SB 5843 mandates that all newly enacted tax breaks – along with tax breaks already on the books that are being renewed or expanded – sunset 10 years after taking effect. Incorporating expiration dates allows policymakers and state auditors to review these loopholes and weigh their value against other important public priorities.
  • Strengthens reporting requirements: The adopted changes to SB 5843 would require individuals and businesses that utilize tax loopholes to publicly disclose the total value received in state tax breaks with the Department of Revenue (DOR). In cases where releasing such information may be detrimental to the economic health of a business or individual, DOR may grant a waiver from public disclosure.
  • And, requires a comprehensive statement of legislative intent: All new tax breaks must fit into one of four categories; 1) encouraging industry competitiveness; 2) creating or retaining jobs; 3) reducing market inefficiencies, or 4) encouraging specific economic behavior. SB 5843 also mandates that newly enacted tax breaks include a comprehensive statement of legislative intent and key metrics and data requirements for evaluative purposes.

SB 5843 is a strong first step towards increased transparency in our revenue system. While much more can and should be done moving forward, the Senate should approve these changes and begin to ensure that our tax code is held to the same level of scrutiny as our state budget.

Document Actions

A BIG Thank You!

Thanks to our generous community, we surpassed our GiveBIG 2017 fundraising goal and raised almost $10,000! Thank you to everyone who made an investment in the Budget & Policy's work advancing policies that promote shared prosperity. If you'd still like to support us, you can always make a gift here

Watch Our Budget Beat Webinars

We host regular Budget Beat webinars throughout legislative session to bring you updates and breaking news from Olympia and timely policy analysis. Visit our YouTube channel to watch our previous Budget Beats. 

Testimonies in Olympia

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

View Our School Funding Plenary 

Roxana_BMC_plenary_2016View the Budget Matters 2016 conference plenary, "What's at Stake in the 2017-2019 Budget: Funding McCleary and Beyond." Moderated by Ann Dornfeld of KUOW, the plenary features Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year; Lew Moore of the Washington Research Council; Roxana Norouzi of OneAmerica; and Sen. Christine Rolfes. The plenary starts after an intro by Executive Director Misha Werschkul and an intro video by Gov. Inslee.