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Freshman House Democrats unveil tax proposals
Freshman House Democrats Wednesday unveiled a package of tax proposals they say would help bring in more revenue and balance the budget.
The proposals include a capital gains tax and elimination of certain tax exemptions.
State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said that taxing capital gains could help protect education and health care.
Jinkins said it’s unfair that the poorest in Washington state pay about 17 percent of their income in taxes, while the wealthiest pay about 2 percent.
“Our fundamental problem has to do with fairness and adequacy,” she said.
Jinkins is sponsoring House Bill 2563, which would enact a 5 percent excise tax on capital gains totaling more than $10,000 a year.
It would generate about $1.4 billion in the 2013-15 biennium. Capital gains include money earned via the sales of stocks and other assets.
HB 2563 got its first hearing Wednesday in the House Ways and Means Committee. The cutoff for fiscal committee bills was Monday, so unless Jinkins’ bill is later included in the budget, it is likely dead.
“I tend to take things step by step,” Jinkins said. “It’s going to be tough, but I’m not going to give up.”
State Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness, also said that the state’s tax system needs to be addressed. He said the state needs to remove outdated tax exemptions – some of which he says were written during the 1930s – to help pay for health care and education in rural areas.
State Rep. Kris Lytton, D-Anacortes, is sponsoring House Bill 2791, which would repeal the sales tax exemption for out-of-state visitors. It would generate about $52 million per biennium, with the money going to fund all-day kindergarten.
“We’ve robbed our children of their future in terms of education,” said state Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-North Seattle, “whether it’s early learning, kindergarten, public schools or the ability to get a degree and get a good job. Every one of those, we’ve cut and made it harder for a child to succeed.”
Freshman House Democrats include:
Rep. Andy Billig (Spokane)
Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (West Seattle)
Rep. Drew Hansen (Bainbridge Island)
Rep. Laurie Jinkins (Tacoma)
Rep. Connie Ladenburg (Tacoma)
Rep. Kris Lytton (Anacortes)
Rep. Luis Moscoso (Mountlake Terrace)
Rep. Gerry Pollet (North Seattle)
Rep. Chris Reykdal (Tumwater)
Rep. Cindy Ryu (Shoreline)
Rep. Derek Stanford (Bothell)
Rep. Steve Tharinger (Dungeness)
Rep. Sharon Wylie (Vancouver)
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