Here are the taxes Washington lawmakers are voting to raise — and cut

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Here are the taxes Washington lawmakers are voting to raise — and cut
Here are the taxes Washington lawmakers are voting to raise — and cut


OLYMPIA — Washington lawmakers were working Sunday to approve more than $830 million in new and higher taxes to fund their new 2019-21 operating budget and a separate spending account for higher education programs.

The package also includes a tax cut for some Washingtonians.

Here’s a look at tax bills lawmakers were advancing as the Legislature went into the final hours of its 105-day session — along with who would pay or save:

House Bill 2158 raises $376 million over the next two years with increases to certain business-and-occupation taxes. It puts that money toward, among other things, a dedicated account to expand college financial aid and boost high-demand degree programs, such as computer science, nursing and engineering.

The tax hikes come in three tiers. The first tier includes businesses primarily making money from services such as architecture, engineering, legal work, insurance and financial work, medical services, software publishing, research for science, online retail and telecommunications. Those businesses would pay a 20% surcharge on their current B&O tax rate.

A second tier applies to advanced computing businesses with a gross worldwide revenue of $25 billion to $100 billion. They get a 33.3% surcharge atop their current rate.

The third tier is imposed on that same category of businesses that have global gross revenue exceeding $100 billion. Those companies would pay 66.7% of the surcharge above their current B&O rate.

The bill sets minimums and maximums on total dollars collected by those surcharges for the advanced computing corporations at between $4 million and $7 million annually.

Senate Bill 5998 raises $243.5 million over two years, while creating a small tax cut for some home sellers. The bill changes the state portion of the real-estate excise tax, usually paid by people selling homes, from a flat 1.28% to a graduated rate. It lowers the state rate to 1.1% for housing sales under $500,000. The current 1.28% would remain for homes sold between $500,000 and $1.5 million.

Houses selling between $1.5 million and $3 million would be subject to a 2.75% rate, and houses going for more than $3 million would have a 3% rate.

Agricultural and timber lands that are sold would keep the current 1.28% rate.

House Bill 2167 raises $133.2 million over two years. It applies a business-and-occupation tax of 1.2% on large financial institutions with annual net income of at least $1 billion.

Senate Bill 6016 raises $59.4 million over two years. It narrows a current tax preference for international investment management services.

Other legislation raises some revenue by rolling back tax breaks for travel agents and tour operators, and by changing the nonresident sales tax exemption.

Senate Bill 5160 would lower taxes by expanding a partial state property-tax exemption for some low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.



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