In an early-Saturday evening vote, the state Senate Democratic majority approved Senate Bill 5096, which would create a capital gains income tax in Washington state, by a vote of 25-24. State Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, offered an amendment that was not adopted that would have explicitly protected certain agricultural activities from the new 7 percent tax on capital gains.
“Proponents of this bill have said that it only affects a small number of Washingtonians, many of whom live in a few districts in King County. I heard from my colleagues that they want this. Nothing is stopping them from sending a check to the Department of Revenue,” Warnick said. “What this is really about is an ideological crusade to get a personal income tax on everyone in our state.”
Warnick lamented the rejection of several amendments offered by Senate Republicans that would have incentivized keeping more money in communities and protecting small businesses.
“This is just bad policy when our state’s budget is in such good condition. We don’t have a revenue problem and arguments for this as a way to make our system fairer are extremely biased and a bit disingenuous,” Warnick added. “All this does is create another tax. We could have done something to actually lower taxes for those in need, but the majority opted not to.”
One amendment that Warnick supported would have removed the state sales tax on prepared food and clothing.
“If we are concerned about how taxes are affecting working families, we missed an opportunity to fix that. While the rhetoric is about making the extremely wealthy pay more, this will have an impact on small businesses around the state,” she said.
“Legislators have been trying to impose a graduated income tax for 86 years – before anyone in the Senate was even born,” Warnick admonished. “Voters have rejected it 10 times and we need to listen to them. The last time this issue was on the ballot, 44 of 49 legislative districts voted overwhelmingly to oppose a state income tax.”