HB 1703 – Tax Exemption Transparency and Accountability Bill Introduced in 2019 WA Legislative Session

HB 1703 – 2019 Tax Exemption Transparency and Accountability Act

Update: Hearing on HB 1703 in House Finance Committee

Tuesday 2/26/19 at 8 AM in John L O’Brien Building

It’s Time to End Tax Exemptions as Off Budget Spending!

Our state gives away more revenue as tax exemptions than it collects from the same tax base.

89% of Washington State’s tax exemptions have no sunset provision.

Of the 694 tax exemptions listed by the Dept. of Revenue in 2016 some 450 are discretionary.

These discretionary tax exemptions were projected by the Dept. of Revenue in 2017 to 2019 to total $54 billion with about $30 billion as “potential revenue gains”

When we adopt our biennial budgets, we should proactively consider the exemptions and preferences as tax expenditures and require re-adoption if they have never been reviewed or have no sunset date. Why should these “tax expenditures” live on forever? No other expenditure lives on without re-adoption in the budget?

What HB 1703 does:

  • The Department of Revenue Report on all tax exemptions and their fiscal impact would be updated every 2 years instead of 4 years.
  • Any tax exemption that has NO sunset and reduces revenues by over $50,000/year or $100,000/biennium would appear in the budget documents and have to be proactively reauthorized as part of the budget or it would sunset.
  • If the Legislature has taken no action on reviewing and clarifying or adding a sunset on a tax exemption which the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee and Citizens Commission on Tax Preferences have recommended to be ended or clarified, and the tax exemption reduces revenues by over $50,000/year or $100,000/biennium, then the exemption would appear in the budget documents and require re-adoption in the budget or it would sunset.

Sponsors: PolletPaulTarletonValdezGregersonOrwallStanfordRyuSantosDoglioPettigrewThaiKlobaWylieGoodmanBergquistSennPetersonFitzgibbonRiccelliLekanoffTharingerJinkinsFrameMeadRamosAppletonFeyDolanWalenMacriCallanKirbyOrtiz-SelfPellicciottiCodyOrmsbyHudgins

You can help!

  • Go to HB 1703 and clicking on “comment on this bill” to urge your legislators to pass this bill. Urge the House Finance Committee to move this bill out of committee.
  • Email and/or call Democratic House Finance Committee members urging their support.
  • Contact stevezemke@taxsanity.org for more details.
Noel Frame(360) 786-7814Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov
Nicole Macri(360) 786-7826 Nicole.Macri@leg.wa.gov
Tina Orwall(360) 786-7834 Tina.Orwall@leg.wa.gov
Gael Tarleton(360) 786-7860 Gael.Tarleton@leg.wa.gov
Amy Walen(360) 786-7848 Amy.Walen@leg.wa.gov
Sharon Wylie(360) 786-7924 Sharon.Wylie@leg.wa.gov
Mike Chapman(360) 786-7916 Mike.Chapman@leg.wa.gov
Larry Springer(360) 786-7822 Larry.Springer@leg.wa.gov
Jeff Morris(360) 786-7970 Jeff.Morris@leg.wa.gov

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