Washington Legislative Update: State Bank Tax Exemption to Appear On November Ballot

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office informed the Secretary of State this week that two tax measures approved by the 2012 Legislature must now go on the November ballot for an advisory vote of the public.

The two bills are provisions in House Bill 2590, dealing with the state pollution liability insurance trust account, and Senate Bill 6635, an omnibus bill dealing with tax preferences, including a provision removing the B&O tax exemption on interest earned on first mortgages for banks located in 10 states or more—valued at $18 million. Both bills were deemed tax increases.

The non-binding advisory votes are the first to be triggered by Initiative 960, adopted by voters in 2007. That measure, which also requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve taxes, requires taxes approved by the Legislature to appear on the ballot. The Legislature can then revisit the issue if they so choose after seeing the results of the advisory vote.

Both bills passed by large margins. HB 2590 passed by a vote of 40-0 in the Senate and 93-1 in the House. SB 6635 passed by a vote of 35-10 in the Senate and 74-24 in the House.

The Secretary of State’s office said the two measures will be given Tax Advisory Proposition Numbers 1 and 2, and the Attorney General will prepare brief descriptions of each. That information will be in the state Voters’ Guide and on the ballots.


Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Stacy Augustine, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Posted in Advocacy News.