ESSB 5513 passes WA State Senate Unanimously. Now Awaits a House Vote

The Washington State Senate passed ESSB 5513 by a 47/0 Vote on Feb. 13, 2018. The bill has been sent to the House for a vote..ESSB 5513 is a substitute bill that has removed the provision that discretionary tax exemptions must be voted on as part of the biennial budget process every two years. It is still a significant step in trying to make Washington State’s almost 700 tax exemptions more transparent and accountable.  ESSB 5513 would require the Washington State Department of Revenue to update its Tax Exemption Report every 2 years instead of 4 years. The Governor’s Budget forecast documents must include a listing of all discretionary tax exemptions (some 450) and their fiscal impact on the proposed state budget in terms of potential revenue not collected.

Here is a summary of the ESSB 5513 as reported by the Senate Ways and Means Committee:

Summary of Engrossed First Substitute Bill:

The DOR Tax Exemption Report (Report) is updated every two years instead of every four years. The Report must include recommendations by JLARC and the Commission if the tax preference has been reviewed.

The November budget outlook materials must include the projected fiscal impact of
discretionary tax preferences in the current biennium and subsequent biennium. The
summary must separate discretionary tax preferences by category—business incentive, agriculture, nonprofit, etc.—as provided in the DOR Report.

The Governor’s budget documents must include a detailed listing of discretionary tax preferences and the listing must be included on the websites of the Office of Financial Management, Economic Revenue and Forecast Council, and Office of the Governor. The listing must provide the following information:
– a brief description of each discretionary tax preference;
prior and future estimated fiscal impacts for each discretionary tax preference;
– the stated public policy objective, if any, of the discretionary tax preference; and
– any recommendations by JLARC and the Commission with regarding to continuing,modifying, or eliminating the discretionary tax preference.

Discretionary tax preference is defined to be a tax credit, exemption, deduction, or
preferential tax rate, which is not required by the state constitution, United States
Constitution, or federal law.:

ESSB 5513 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Finance Committee on Thursday Feb. 22nd, 2018 at 3:30 PM. If you can not attend to testify, please call or send e-mails to the legislators in the House.Finance Committee, urging them to vote this bill out of committee so that the full House can vote on it. also contact your own Legislators. The remaining session is short. Do not assume your Representatives know about this bill or that it will pass in the flurry of bills demanding attention at the end of the session. Please help by contacting  Legislators today. Thanks.


Committee Members

Representative e-mail Phone
Lytton, Kristine (D)
Chair (360) 786-7800
Frame, Noel (D)
Vice Chair (360) 786-7814
Nealey, Terry (R)
Ranking Minority Member (360) 786-7828
Orcutt, Ed (R)
Asst Ranking Minority Member (360) 786-7990
Condotta, Cary (R) (360) 786-7954
Dolan, Laurie (D) (360) 786-7940
Pollet, Gerry (D) (360) 786-7886
Springer, Larry (D) (360) 786-7822
Stokesbary, Drew (R) (360) 786-7846
Wilcox, J.T. (R) (360) 786-7912
Wylie, Sharon (D) (360) 786-7924

You can also leave messages for your own Legislators by going  to the bill page for  ESSB 5513 and looking  to the right on the page you will see a box to “comment on this bill”  Thank your Senator for voting to pass this bill  (It was a 47/0 vote) and urge your two House members to vote to pass this bill.  Thanks

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