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House Passes Controversial Capital Gains Tax, Returns Bill to Senate for Concurrence

For two days, House lawmakers debated Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5096, which would impose a  seven percent tax on Washington capital gains, the exceed $250,000, realized from the
sale of long-term assets. Such assets can include the selling stocks, bonds, and would apply to the sale of businesses.

Republicans and those who oppose the bill argue the proposed capital gains tax is in reality an income tax, which is therefore illegal under state law. Democrats have been trying to reform Washington’s regressive tax structure for decades.

Votes

Senator Claire Wilson (D-Auburn, 30th LD) is a secondary sponsor for this bill.
The bill passed the Senate on March 6, by a vote of 25-24.

Senators C. Wilson and Mona Das (D-Kent, 47th LD) voted in favor of the bill. Senator Phil Fortunato (R-Auburn, 31st LD) voted against it.

Three Senate Democrats aligned with Republicans and voted against the bill.

The House narrowly passed the bill 52-46 on April 21. House Democrats rejected 18 of 19 Republican proposed amendments.

Representatives Debra Entenman (D-Kent, 47th LD), Jesse Johnson (D-Federal Way, 30th LD), Pat Sullivan (D, 47th LD), and Jamilia Taylor (D-Federal Way, 30th LD) voted in favor of the bill. 31st Legislative District Representative Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) and Eric Robertson (R-Sumner) voted against it.

Five Democrats broke with their caucus to vote no. After a re-vote due to Republican Rep. Bruce Chandler mistakenly voting yes, no Republicans supported the bill.

The legislation is controversial, as it has failed by referendum 10 times, and has a high probability of being appealed to the state Supreme Court matter prior to implementation.

The bill will now go into a matter of concurrence between the Senate and House on amendments, and if passed, will head to the Governor’s office to be potentially signed into law.

A conference committee was appointed Thursday, April 22, as the Senate refuses to concur in House amendments and has asked House for conference thereon.

For more information on Senate Bill 5096’s, go to the bill’s page.

For more complete information on any legislation, including sponsors, a synopsis, and fiscal note, visit the Washington State Legislature’s bill information webpage: https://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo

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