The current session of the Legislature began May 13 and is scheduled to end on June 11. The House passed an operating budget bill with accompanying education funding legislation late on Thursday, June 6.
House Bill 1057, Substitute House Bill 1057: State Operating Budget
Passed the House on June 6 by a vote of 53-35.
This budget proposal calls for some $800 million in new education spending ($704 for K-12 education, $93 million for higher education) over the next two years. The bill dropped the extension of the business and occupation tax surcharge on service professionals and reduced the number of tax breaks to be eliminated or tax hikes from 11 to 7. However, the accompanying education funding bills eliminate additional tax breaks, including a requirement that nonresidents apply for sales tax refunds instead of getting them automatically
Rep. Steve Tharinger, (D-Sequim) Y
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, (D-Sequim) Y
House Bill 2034, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2034: Funding education and higher education by narrowing or eliminating tax breaks
Passed the House on June 6 by a vote of 52-40
This is a companion measure to the operating budget (HB 1057) also passed by the House. It appropriates $107.7 million for kindergarten through grade 12 and $78.7 million for higher education by eliminating certain tax preferences, including the preferential business and occupation (B&O) tax rate of 0.275 percent for travel agents and tour operators and the B&O tax rate of 0.138 percent for resellers of prescription drugs. It also repeals the sales tax exemption for bottled water and expires the high technology sales and use tax deferral program on July 1. The bill also provides new funding formula allocations to support increased instructional hours for secondary students, for the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program, and increased staffing for counselors and family engagement coordinators.
Van De Wege Y
House Bill 2036, Engrossed House Bill 2036: Changing the nonresident sales tax exemption into a refund program
Passed the House on June 6 by a vote of 52-35.
The original bill proposed to eliminate a range of tax breaks, including preferential business and occupation tax rates for certain services such as insurance agents and tour operators. A floor amendment struck all the provisions of the bill except the provision changing the nonresident sales tax exemption into a refund program.
Van De Wege Y
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