Biparty Group Calls for Land Tax Cut in Washington | Washington


(The Center Square) – Two bills Washington state lawmakers are expected to pass at the start of the new session in January could allow every homeowner in the state to receive tax relief.

If passed, Senate Bill 5463 and House Bill 1579 would exempt the first $ 250,000 of a home’s value from state property taxes.

The idea comes from the bipartite Tax Structure Working Group, which was created in 2017 to identify options to make the state’s tax code more fair and transparent.

The group includes four Republican lawmakers and four Democratic lawmakers, as well as representatives from the office of Democratic Governor Jay Inslee, the State Department of Revenue, the Washington State Association of Counties and the Association of cities of Washington.

Supporters say the average Washington homeowner would see their property tax burden cut in half. For those whose homes are valued at $ 250,000 or less, they would pay no state property taxes.

Invoices are accompanied Joint Senate Resolution 8206, which would block the exemption in the state constitution. This would mean that future lawmakers could not revoke the exemption. It would require statewide voter approval.

Two Republican members of the task force, Senator Lynda Wilson and Representative Ed Orcut – the main sponsors of the bills in their respective chambers – wrote in a recent Tacoma News Tribune editorial that state revenues for the current budget cycle are expected to be $ 6 billion higher than forecast; and that the exemptions would provide about $ 3 billion in tax cuts.

“It is not often that lawmakers are faced with a substantial amount of unexpected revenue,” they wrote. “When that happens, they are bombarded with special interests that demand more spending in a particular area. Wouldn’t it be nice if the interests of taxpayers prevail this time around, especially since so many of them are trying to survive the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic? “

The task force is holding virtual town halls via Zoom around the state to gather feedback from voters. The group’s website also offers a survey where people can give their thoughts on the climate and the state’s overall tax structure.

Washington currently offers a property tax exemption for seniors, people who have had to stop work due to a disability, and disabled military veterans. The reductions are based on the person’s income, the value of their home and local taxes. Income determinations are based on the median household income for the county in which the applicant resides.

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