Sen. Paull Shin, who represents the legislative district that includes Mountlake Terrace, has proposed to boost sales tax by one percent.
The state is facing a $5 billion budget shortfall and Shin says the tax hike would raise more than $2 billion for the 2011 2013 biennium. The increase would expire at the end of the biennium, but could end sooner if the unemployment rates drop.
It is essential that we consider all of our options, as we try to solve a budget crisis that will undoubtedly have far-reaching and potentially life-altering impacts on thousands of Washingtonians, Shin said. I want to be clear that I am not an advocate for the sales tax, but we are in an emergency and this is the only tool we have that can raise the serious money needed to protect education and social services.
If the unemployment rate decreases to 6.5 percent for four consecutive months, the sales tax would be reduced by 0.5 percent. If it drops to 5 percent for four consecutive months, the new tax would be eliminated.
We often discuss how regressive a sales tax is, but those that would be most affected by this increase are likely to receive more in public services saved by the $2 billion we raise through this temporary increase, Shin added.
Senate Bill 5937 had its first reading before the Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.
Thanks to our friends at Lynnwood Today for the story.