Washington Senate Includes Nearly Two Dozen Tax Breaks In Budget Plan

Feb 25, 2014

The Washington Senate is proposing the creation or extension of nearly two dozen tax breaks, mostly for businesses.

Gov. Jay Inslee supports the largest of those tax incentives. But overall, the Senate package unveiled Monday runs counter to the Democratic governor’s push to eliminate several tax exemptions to pay for education.

These tax incentives are included in a proposed update to Washington’s two-year budget. Beekeepers, companies that hire unemployed veterans and data server farms would all benefit. So would alcohol resellers, log haulers, and technology and energy companies.

“We have a modest amount of tax preferences," said Washington Senate budget committee chair Andy Hill, a Republican. "Most of them are extending existing ones. And again, it’s focused on job creation.”

Hill was joined by Democrats in the bipartisan budget unveiling. The value of the tax breaks is calculated at $10 million in the current two-year budget. But that balloons to nearly $85 million in the next budget cycle.

The proposed Senate budget would put more money into public school technology, mental health and protect the social safety net.

The Washington House will unveil its budget proposal next. Then the two chambers will work to reconcile their differences.