The case for a Washington sales tax cut (video)

Sep 21, 2021

In 1982, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was riding high at the box office, Eye of the Tiger was #1 on the music charts and Washington state residents got their last cut in the sales tax rate. 

39 years is long enough. It’s time for a sales tax cut. WPC's latest video makes the case: 

When the sales tax was first imposed in 1935, Washington’s sales tax rate was 2.0%. Now it’s 6.5%.

Washington lawmakers have enacted some targeted tax cuts in recent years, but those in power haven’t shown any interest in broad-based tax relief.

You might be thinking, “Maybe they’re not cutting taxes because Washington can’t afford it?”


Washington’s tax revenue growth has outpaced the nation since 2015 and our tax revenue has grown 39.4 percent since 2008 while the 50-state average tax revenue growth was 15.9%.

While states across the country enacted tax cuts in response to strong revenue growth as COVID-related economic restrictions were lifted, Washington became one of just a couple states that raised taxes instead -- imposing the first stand-alone capital gains income tax in the nation.

With a balanced budget, billions in reserves and revenue projections continuing to exceed expectations, the case for sales tax relief is overwhelming.

Each tenth of a percentage point reduction in the state sales tax rate is about $306 million in tax relief. Lawmakers could reduce the sales tax rate by two tenths of a percent, provide more than $600 million in tax relief, and still have billions left over. 

Now you know the case for broad based tax relief in Washington. The only question is, will we have to wait another 39 years to get it?

Additional Information
$2.6 billion reasons to cut taxes
Revenue forecast shows it’s time for a sales tax cut

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