Washington Legislative Week in Review: Inslee Proposes Eliminating Seven Tax Breaks

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed eliminating seven tax breaks to pay for additional K-12 investments to keep the state on a path toward meeting its basic education obligation. Termination or amendment of the tax breaks would generate $200 million over the remainder of the current biennium, and $414 million during the 2015–17 biennium.

Inslee would:

  • Repeal the sales tax exemption for automotive trade-ins valued over $10,000;
  • Repeal the public utility tax deduction for in-state portion of interstate transportation;
  • Repeal the use tax exemption for extracted fuel (except hog fuel);
  • Eliminate the refund of the state portion of sales tax to nonresidents;
  • Repeal the sales tax exemption on bottled water;
  • Repeal the sales tax exemption for janitorial services; and
  • Repeal the preferential business and occupation tax rate for resellers of prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, Feb. 7 is the last day for committee reports to be read in their house of origin, except for House fiscal committees and the Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees. Bills not passing out of committee by Friday are considered dead.

Bills the NWCUA is tracking

NWCUA-sponsored bills: House Bill 2140 and Senate Bill 6029 give Washington state-chartered credit unions parity with federally chartered credit unions regarding mergers. Both bills have passed out of their policy committees and are now in Rules awaiting floor action.

Property taxes: House Bill 2513, modifying collection dates for property taxes paid through escrow, was introduced on Jan. 20 and referred to the House Finance Committee. The bill would change the due date for property tax payments from Oct. 31 to July 31 if the property taxes are held in an escrow account by a financial institution.

Collection of unpaid wages: Senate Bill 5360, addressing the collection of unpaid wages, was scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Feb. 3. The bill modifies procedures for the collection of unpaid wages by the Department of Labor & Industries. As part of the bill, the department would be authorized to match its outstanding warrants against deposit accounts held by financial institutions registered in Washington. The Association is working to reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions should the bill be passed into law. A proposed amendment would require the department to mirror the process that the Department of Revenue currently uses to perform data matching with financial institutions.

Foreclosures: House Bill 2723 and Senate Bill 6507, addressing foreclosures, represent the work of the foreclosure work group in updating the Foreclosure Fairness Act. The Association participated in the work group, in part to protect the exemption for credit unions issuing fewer than 250 notices of default per year.  There is no change to the exemption level included in these bills.

  • House Bill 2723, modifying certain provisions governing foreclosures, is scheduled for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 4.
  • Senate Bill 6507, modifying certain provisions governing foreclosures, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on Feb. 4.

Credit Union Day at the Capitol

Don’t miss out! On Thursday, Feb. 6, the Northwest Credit Union Association will hold its annual Credit Union Day at the Capitol in Olympia. The goal is to have every legislator receive a visit from a local credit union that day. The conference is free this year, and the program for the day helps make sending branch staff easier.

  • Shorter conference: The day’s 10 a.m. start and 4 p.m. finish mean no overnight hotel stay is necessary and the time commitment is minimal.
  • Registration is free;
  • Parking is free (space is limited); and
  • No tie is required (Dress as you would for work; logo-wear is encouraged).

“If our state legislators don’t know anything about credit unions or the great things we do for our members and our communities, then they assume we are just like banks,” says Mark Minickiello, the NWCUA’s vice president for legislative affairs. “Come help us spread the word about how credit unions are different. Register today!

Mark Minickiello will report from Olympia each week that the Washington Legislature is in session; look for his “Washington Legislative Week in Review” every Tuesday in Anthem. For more information, contact Minickiello at mminickiello@nwcua.org or 206.340.4812.


Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.