Open Government

WPC's Center for Government Reform's mission is to partner with stakeholders and citizens to work toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its transparency, accountability, performance, and effectiveness for taxpayers.

What's New

100 percent increase in state death tax proposed

February 12, 2010 in Blog

The legislative tax floodgates have opened. Today Representatives Chase, Williams, Hunt, Dickerson, Flannigan, and Moeller introduced a bill that would increase the state's death tax by 100%.

HB 3184 would raise the top state death tax rate from 19% to 38%. The tax rate in the lower brackets would also be increased by 100%

Last year WPC's Carl Gipson (Small Business Center Director) highlighted how repeal of the state's death tax would help grow the economy and lead to job creation.

Budget deficit grows to $2.8 billion

February 12, 2010 in Blog

The state's budget outlook worsened today with news that the revenue forecast is being downgraded by $118 million. Combined with a $96 million increase in caseloads, the state's new budget deficit is projected to be $2.8 billion.

Despite a forecasted 12% increase in revenue for the next budget (2011-13), a multi-billion dollar deficit is projected for the next biennium. This is illustrated by the state's 4-year budget outlook (yet to be updated).

Consumer confidence is the key to economic recovery. Should consumer confidence fail to improve the state is at risk of a double dip recession. According to the forecast:

!

"There is a risk of a double-dip, or 'W-shaped' recovery, where economic activity sags in the fourth quarter of 2010. This can happen if by the middle of next year if consumer spending and confidence fail to recover as we expect them to."

Despite the need to improve consumer confidence, a bill has been introduced to make purchases more expensive with a sales tax increase.

Whoa! Voters backed I-960 for a reason

February 12, 2010 in In the News
Yakima Herald-Republic
Source: 
Yakima Herald-Republic
Date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010

How government officials increase home prices

February 12, 2010 in In the News
Othello Outlook
Source: 
Othello Outlook
Date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010

15.4 Percent Increase in State Sales Tax Proposed

February 12, 2010 in In the News
Washington Alliance for a Competitive Economy
Source: 
Washington Alliance for a Competitive Economy
Date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010

Proposed bill would raise sales tax 1%

February 12, 2010 in In the News
KOMO 4
Source: 
KOMO 4
Date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010

Legislative Roll Call Report

February 12, 2010 in In the News
The Daily News (Longview)
Source: 
The Daily News (Longview)
Date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010

Sales tax increase introduced

February 11, 2010 in Blog

With the Senate approving a 2-year repeal of I-960 (Taxpayer Protection Act) the House is gearing up for tax increase votes. Today Representatives Flannigan, Ericks, Pettigrew, Ormsby, ef="http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/Eddy.aspx" style="white-space: nowrap;" target="_blank" title="View Eddy's web page.">Eddy, Chase, Appleton, Quall, Hunt, Sells, Nelson, Dickerson, Pedersen, Clibborn, Moeller introduced a bill to increase the state's sales tax by 1%.

From HB 3183:

"An unprecedented shortfall in state general fund and transportation revenues has threatened the state's ability to fund vital services and provide adequate transportation infrastructure. Cities, counties, and public transportation systems have also been hurt by the downturn in the economy. For this reason, the legislature is enacting an excise tax equivalent to one percent that will be reduced to one-half of a percent when the state's unemployment decreases to six and five-tenths percent for four continuous months and is eliminated when the unemployment rate decreases to five percent for four continuous months. The additional funding will keep people working, strengthen the safety net for citizens by providing vital needed services, and adding jobs as the economy begins to rebound through investing in the state's economy and infrastructure. The intent is to help people and the economy through the economic crisis, but when the economy has !
recovered, this tax will no longer be required and will be replaced by !
revenue being automatically generated through the revitalized economic growth in the state."

Based on a study by the Washington Research Council, a reduction in the state's unemployment rate to 5% will be a long time away seeing how a sales tax increase of this magnitude could cost 15,000 Washingtonians their jobs.

The state's current unemployment rate is 9.5%.

Poulsbo Legislator Backs 1% Increase in State Sales Tax

February 11, 2010 in In the News
Kitsap Sun (Bremerton)
Source: 
Kitsap Sun (Bremerton)
Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2010