The Seattle Times editorial board looks at the state’s revenue bonanza – billions of dollars in federal funding plus yesterday’s $3+ billion increase in the revenue forecast – and concludes there’s no reason for lawmakers to adopt the capital gains tax.
Wednesday’s good-news state revenue forecast says Washington has enough money to provide necessary government services critical to the pandemic recovery. The Legislature should accept this evidence the state is on strong fiscal footing without a capital-gains tax.
With federal stimulus money also arriving, Washington can begin paying for urgent work to create jobs, such as wildfire prevention and transportation, as well as social-services needs worsened by the pandemic.
The editorial makes the necessary point.
The Office of Financial Management assessment that projections are “back to pre-pandemic levels” is a strong reason to pause a new tax that could hobble the long-term economy.
Now before the House, the capital-gains tax passed the Senate 25-24 March 6. It would levy a 7% tax on profits of more than $250,000 from selling stocks, bonds and other assets, with exemptions for real estate, retirement accounts and agriculture. About 16,000 to 18,000 residents would have to pay it, according to Senate Democrats. It could provide an incentive for the wealthy to move out of state — and likely take businesses with them.
Read the whole thing.