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

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

By - July 7, 2017

Statement:

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.

About Misha Werschkul, Executive Director

As the leader of the Budget & Policy Center, Misha guides the organization’s strategic vision and ensures its position as a leading voice shaping the debate around budget priorities.

Read more about Misha