“While the state’s coffers continue to benefit from years of excessive revenue surpluses, and a property-tax increase is not needed at the state level, I realize some local governments are in desperate need of additional revenue.”
By Randy Bracht, The Center Square
Problem: Local governments in Washington state say they need more money to address affordable housing, public safety and other inflationary costs.
Solution? Give cities and counties a bigger share of the state’s liquor and cannabis tax revenues.
That’s the proposal of state Sen. Keith Wagoner (R-Sedro-Woolley) who has introduced two bipartisan bills as a counter-measure to calls by some Democrats to triple annual property tax increases to 3 percent from the current 1 percent limit.
“I’ve seen a lot of bad ideas in Olympia, but raising property taxes and rents during a housing-affordability crisis may be one of the worst—and the cruelest,” Wagoner said in a news release. He serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which handles tax and budget policy.
“As I heard repeatedly as a member of the Tax Structure Work Group, increasing property taxes disproportionately affects lower-income renters, as property-tax increases are inevitably passed along in the form of higher rent,” Wagoner said, contending that Washington ranks fifth-worst in the nation in housing affordability.
“Tripling the rate of annual growth of property taxes would only add more costs and make homeownership an even more distant dream, especially for young families,” he said.
Instead, Wagoner has offered up two proposals:
“While the state’s coffers continue to benefit from years of excessive revenue surpluses, and a property-tax increase is not needed at the state level, I realize some local governments are in desperate need of additional revenue,” said Wagoner.
—Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.—
Democrats have introduced Senate Bill 5770, which calls for tripling the state’s current 1 percent annual limit on property tax increases. During a January 18 committee hearing, Wagoner said the public weighed in “loud and clear” with nearly 8,300 people signing in and over 91 percent opposed to the measure.
“We want to give people meaningful property tax and rental relief instead, and help our counties and cities in a way that doesn’t put additional burdens on the backs of taxpayers,” he said.
Read More Feedzy