This afternoon the Washington House Finance voted along party lines to approve a $900 million tax package.
The package, originally slated at $1.16 million, was scaled back. The package moving forward no longer extends the temporary tax surcharge on beer that was adopted in 2010. In addition insurance agent services, janitorial services, and stevedoring services (shipping containers) were removed from the list of repealed tax exemptions.
The largest component of the revenue package that is now headed to House Rules is HB 2038 which would permanently extend a B&O tax surcharge that would otherwise expire in June. In addition the package either levies taxes not in effect today or would not still be in effect after June including the elimination of tax breaks for bottled water, travel agents, and high-tech research and development. As passed the bill would bar a referendum but not an initiative challenge.
Several amendments were proposed by the minority to remove additional elements of the revenue package, but were not passed. It is expected that some of these amendmetns would likely return when the bill goes to the floor later this week.