The job of the Washington State Legislature is to responsibly fund the running of the government.  So any conversation about budget measures needs to start with a conversation about just what is "responsible."  Stop us if you have heard this one before  but while the State's economy is doing much better than early Covid period predictions and with an updated and and even more improved economic forecast expected in a week, the Senate still passed a measure calling for a tax on capital gains.

That might not sound responsible on its own but add to that the fact that capital gains have been determined to be "income" and that the State constitution clearly forbids a state income tax and now the responsibility question becomes a bit clearer.

Then you factor in that the fact that the idea has been rejected by voters 10 times over the past 75+ years and you have enough information to reach the very responsible conclusion that it is NOT at all responsible for the legislature to attempt to pass the capital gains tax now or at anytime in the future.

So naturally, the Senate passes the measure on a 25 to 24 vote (with 3 Democrats voting against it) and sent it on to the House of Representatives.

The Spokesman Review Newspaper in Spokane reports "The proposal has changed significantly since it was first introduced. The version that passed Saturday would apply a 7% tax on the sale of stocks and bonds, personal property and businesses, but only if those profits exceed $250,000 annually. It would not apply to the sale of a home, commercial real estate, retirement accounts, livestock and other properties. The sale of a family-owned small business that makes less than $10 million a year would be exempt, as well as some real estate sales ...".

The numbers show about 9,000 Washington tax returns would be affected generating some $550 million a year in additional revenue starting in 2023.

State Senator Judy Warnick  of the 13th District says, “What this is really about is an ideological crusade to get a personal income tax on everyone in our state.”

15th District State Representative Bruce Chandler sits on the house Appropriations  committee and today on The Morning News (3/9/2021) he said Republicans will try to talk sense to House Democrats on the topic of a capital gains tax.

Bruce Chandler

More From News Talk KIT