taxes

Austin Jenkins / KPLU

GRAND MOUND, Wash. - Great Wolf Resorts is a Wisconsin-based chain of indoor water parks and hotels. Four years ago, the company expanded what it calls its “paw print” to the Northwest.

It opened its first west coast property at Grand Mound, Washington south of Olympia. The state of Washington declared the resort tax exempt because Great Wolf partnered with the Chehalis Indian Tribe.

Now, Correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question that tax-free status – potentially worth tens of millions of dollars.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For liberal activists in Washington, it has become the Holy Grail of tax breaks. We’re talking about a deduction banks can claim on some mortgages. Last week, the Washington legislature voted to end this tax exemption for large, out-of-state banks. But now some on the left are calling it a “hollow” victory.

This was the scene last September outside a meeting of business leaders in central Washington.

Advocates for the poor protested JPMorgan Chase and the tax break it –- and other banks -– get on interest earnings from first mortgages.

Tomorrow is the income tax filing deadline in the U.S., and jazz musicians in particular know it. The overwhelming majority of jazz musicians are freelance performers (and often freelance teachers, composers and other music-related service providers). But the informal aesthetics of the jazz world often extend to its business practices as well, with its handshake deals and cash payments. That makes it quite difficult to keep track of income and expenses when it comes time to report to the Internal Revenue Service.

EVERETT, Wash. — Initiative activist Tim Eyman of Mukilteo has started collecting signatures on a measure limiting the tax power of Washington state lawmakers.

If passed, I-1185 would require a two-thirds majority in the Legislature or a vote of the people to create or raise taxes. Sound familiar?

Washington voters consistently send Democratic majorities to the statehouse. But four times over the past 20 years they’ve also voted to require a supermajority of the legislature to raise taxes. Most recently, in 2010. Now a group of Democratic lawmakers and their allies are challenging the constitutionality of that two-thirds rule.

The Internal Revenue Service is brining back an amnesty program for Americans who have stashed money in offshore accounts in order to dodge taxes. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman announced the program's renewal on Monday, saying the tax dodgers would have to pay back taxes and penalties but would not face any criminal charges.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is bypassing the attorney general's office and seeking court guidance on the constitutionality of a law limiting tax increases.

SALEM, Ore. – President Obama and House Republicans continue to spar over whether to extend a soon-to-expire payroll tax cut. But one group of Oregonians will definitely see their taxes go down in January. They’re the wealthiest taxpayers.

When Oregon voters approved Measure 66 nearly two years ago, income taxes immediately rose for the highest tier of earners in the state. But the jump was temporary.

Starting this January 1st, the rate will drop back, though not all the way to pre-Measure 66 levels.

Dozens of Fortune 500 companies paid no net state income taxes over the past three years, including one in the Pacific Northwest. That's one of the findings of a report issued Wednesday by a liberal think tank.

The report examined federal Securities and Exchange Commission filings from the more than half of Fortune 500 companies that reported profits over the past three years.

Those filings show how much each company paid in state income taxes nationwide. The results varied widely, even among companies in the same industry.

Associated Press

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is calling for a lower corporate tax rate. Schultz made his comments during a town hall meeting Tuesday night hosted by the anti-partisanship group “No Labels”

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has not given up on the idea of a mileage tax paid by electric vehicle owners. The tax is meant to offset the lack of gas taxes paid by people who drive electric cars.

The debate continues to rage in Oregon over whether raising taxes on the rich prompts people to leave the state. A new study claims the answer is no. But as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, the new research doesn't put the controversy over last year's Measure 66 tax hike to bed.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A dozen Democratic lawmakers are asking a judge to overturn a voter-approved initiative that requires the Legislature to have a supermajority to raise taxes.

The lawsuit filed Monday is led by the League of Education Voters and the Washington Education Association.

Tim Hamilton / Flickr

Advocates for the homeless in Kitsap County say there’s not enough money to provide services – so they’re talking about the possibility of a new tax. 

United Way of King County

Tax day is later than usual this year. The deadline to file federal returns is Monday, April 18th.

The IRS didn't extend the cutoff just to give procrastinators more time. It did so to allow its employees to observe Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C. to honor when Abraham Lincoln signed a law that ended slavery in the District.

A lot of taxpayer still dread filing their returns, even with a few extra days. That’s not the case for one local teenager. She’s the youngest person out of 650 people to volunteer with United Way of King County to help people prepare their taxes. 

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