taxes

Brianhe / Wikimedia

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is likely to propose a more than $1 billion revenue package when he unveils his proposed two-year budget next week.

That’s according to the governor’s budget director who briefed reporters Tuesday at the Capitol.

Washington is expected to take in nearly $3 billion more in taxes over the next two years. Even so, the governor’s budget office anticipated a nearly $2.5 billion shortfall. A school funding lawsuit and cost of living raises for state and K-12 employees are two big ticket items.

Oregon Revenue Forecast Up As Job Growth Continues

May 28, 2014
M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Oregon's economy still hasn't recovered to pre-recession levels. But state economists told lawmakers Wednesday that job growth is driving an expected increase in tax revenue for the state.

Tax Foundation/Mackinac Center for Public Policy

    

Nearly half of the cigarettes smoked in Washington went untaxed by the state. That estimate comes from a new study by two think tanks from back East. They compared actual legal sales in a state against the level you would expect to see based on its smoking rate. From that, they came up with a smuggling estimate. The study pegs low-tax Idaho as a major source of smuggled cigarettes. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Proposal Would End Idaho Sales Tax on Groceries

Feb 28, 2014
Michael Pendergrass / Wikimedia Commons

An Idaho state senator and gubernatorial candidate has introduced a bill that would repeal the sales tax on groceries.

Republican State Senator Russ Fulcher says it’s time Idahoans were able to take advantage of the same savings that neighboring states like Washington, Oregon, and Montana have, by not having to pay sales tax on most grocery items.

Oregon farmers are hoping the state Legislature makes it worth their while to donate crops that would otherwise go to waste.

Washington initiative promoter Tim Eyman kicked off the New Year with a new ballot proposal.

Washington Governor Calls State Tax System 'Old Jalopy'

Dec 17, 2013
Thomas Sorenes / Wikimedia

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the state’s tax system is outdated and insufficient to cover expenses. The Democrat made his comments Tuesday at the release of his proposed update to Washington’s two-year budget.

The issue of tax transparency in Washington is getting fresh attention on the heels of a major tax deal for Boeing.

Two key transportation leaders says time is running out for Washington lawmakers to agree on a multi-billion dollar roads and transit package.

The Washington Legislature is plowing ahead with a package of tax breaks and incentives to convince the Boeing Company to build its next big jet in Washington.

A decade after Washington voters defeated a one-cent sales tax increase for schools, a school funding vote in Colorado has education watchers in Washington paying close attention.

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

BikePortland.org / Flickr

Oregon’s special election concludes next week, and in Curry County on the south coast, voters will decide on a tax increase. The county is facing a $2 million budget shortfall, and it could be the first place Governor Kitzhaber declares a public safety fiscal emergency.

vagueonthehow

Film and television producers will soon have an even greater incentive to shoot in Oregon. Starting Monday, the Oregon Department of Revenue will auction off tax credits to replenish a subsidy fund to lure major Hollywood productions to the state.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he'll call lawmakers back to Salem this month for a special session on taxes and public pensions.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is hitting the road with his push for additional legislative action to curb public pension costs. The Democrat visited with local leaders in Hillsboro Friday.

Dan Jenkins / ODFW

A plan that would give state government broad powers to step in and bail out struggling timber counties could advance soon in the Oregon legislature. A House panel could vote as soon as Monday on a bill that could lead to a temporary tax hike in counties that are struggling to maintain basic services.

Washington lawmakers have until the end of the month to pass a budget – if they hope to avoid a government shutdown. But there’s another costly deadline looming this week.

Katie Campbell

The Federal government is missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue from companies that mine coal on public lands. That’s according to a new report released by the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Better-than-expected tax collections could trigger Oregon's unique kicker law, at least for corporations. The rebate is issued if revenues exceed initial projections by more than two percent. A newly released revenue forecast noted Thursday that business taxes have been robust enough to cross that threshold.

But state economist Mark McMullen says a final tally won't be made until later this year. "We believe that a kicker is better than a 50-50 shot. But not a sure thing. That came with a big surge in corporate taxes at the beginning of the year."

Two days after a proposed tax hike faltered in the Oregon House, a union-backed group has filed initiatives to raise taxes on corporations. The move by Our Oregon Friday could be a repeat of a bitter tax fight three years ago.

Our Oregon has successfully led two tax campaigns in the last few years. The group estimates the six initiatives it’s looking at for 2014 would raise corporate taxes anywhere from $75 million to more than $1 billion a year.

It was a day of drama in the Oregon House Wednesday. First, majority Democrats failed to round up enough “yes” votes for a $275 million tax hike. Then, Democrats scored a victory by sending their version of a public pension cost-cutting proposal to Governor John Kitzhaber.

The plan targeted upper income earners and corporations. But tax hikes require a three-fifths vote and Democrats needed at least two Republicans to cross the aisle to move their measure forward. That didn't happen.

It’s been nearly two months since the Washington Supreme Court tossed out a voter-approved two-thirds requirement for tax hikes. Monday, anti-tax activist Tim Eyman proposed an initiative he describes as a “lobbying tool” to bring back the super majority rule.

It appears more likely Washington lawmakers will go into an overtime session. The regular 105-day session ends this Sunday. But the House and Senate, along with the governor, still have to agree on a two-year budget deal. Even if a deal was at hand -- and it doesn’t appear one is -- they’d be cutting it close.

Washington House Democrats are getting praise and scorn for their proposed $1.3 billion tax package for schools. At a public hearing Friday lawmakers heard tales of hardship from people for and against the tax measure.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber told lawmakers Monday to approach a possible sales tax with caution. Oregon is one of five states without a sales tax and critics say that leaves state finances vulnerable to economic ups and downs.

The governor told a Senate panel that a sales tax is one possible component of a major overhaul to the state's tax code. But he said it can only happen if Oregonians are on-board.

SALEM, Ore. – Democrats in the Oregon House are backing away from a key aspect of their budget-balancing tax measure. They’re no longer proposing to end the deduction for charitable donations for some high-income earners. The move Monday comes in the face of withering criticism from nonprofits.

The original plan would have applied only to households earning more than $250,000. Majority Democrats said it would have affected less than 3 percent of Oregon taxpayers. But nonprofits complained that those taxpayers are the ones with the ability to make bigger donations.

On Tax Day, Oregon Lawmakers Consider A Sales Tax

Apr 15, 2013

One of the most politically sensitive topics in Oregon is up for debate at the state capitol Monday. Lawmakers will hold a hearing on whether to ask Oregon voters to approve a sales tax. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington House Democrats have unveiled a proposed two-year budget that looks a lot like Governor Jay Inslee’s. It would renew expiring tax hikes, close several tax exemptions and put the new money into public schools.

House Democrats would actually spend a tad more than the governor. But their approach is very similar. For example: extend an expiring tax on beer and end the sales tax exemption for bottled water and shoppers from sales tax free Oregon.

SALEM, Ore. – Democrats in the Oregon legislature are offering up more details of their plan to raise an additional $275 million for the upcoming budget. High-income earners and some businesses would pay more under the proposal, which was released Tuesday.

Democratic leaders say under their plan, less than five percent of Oregonians would pay more in taxes. The increases are aimed at households earning more than $250,000. Those taxpayers would be able to claim fewer deductions and exemptions on their tax returns.

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