People of Northwest Public Radio
Mon February 24, 2014
Washington Senate Budget Includes Nearly Two Dozen Tax Breaks
The Washington Senate is proposing the creation or extension of nearly two dozen tax breaks – mostly for businesses. Governor Jay Inslee supports the largest of those tax incentives. But overall the Senate package unveiled Monday runs counter to the Democratic governor’s push to eliminate several tax exemptions to pay for education.
These tax incentives are included in a proposed update to Washington’s two-year budget. Beekeepers, companies that hire unemployed veterans and data server farms would all benefit. So would alcohol resellers, log haulers and technology and energy companies. Republican Andy Hill chairs the Washington Senate budget committee.
“We have a modest amount of tax preferences – most of them are extending existing ones – and again it’s focused on job creation,” Hill says.
Hill was joined by Democrats in the bipartisan budget unveiling. The value of the tax breaks is calculated at $10 million in the current two-year budget. But that balloons to nearly $85 million in the next budget cycle. The proposed Senate budget would put more money into public school technology, mental health and protect the social safety net. The Washington House will unveil its budget proposal next. Then the two chambers will work to reconcile their differences.
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