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Published on Monday, May 8, 2017

Senate hearing on revenue bill

Last week, the Senate Ways & Means Committee took testimony on SB 5929, a companion revenue proposal to HB 2186 heard a few weeks ago. AWC sent a letter to the House and Senate budget leaders indicating support for sufficient revenue to fund state programs and obligations and testified in the Ways & Means Committee about the following:

  • Support for new proposed revenues that include a local government share and promote local economic security, such as requiring sales tax collections or reporting of customers for use taxes by internet retailers, and removal of the bottled water sales tax exemption. The expected revenue increase from sales tax changes in the bill is $71 million for cities for the 2017-19 biennium.
  • Support for the provision establishing a graduated rate for the state Real Estate Excise Tax. It would result in a lower 0.75 percent rate on residential sales under $250,000, the same 1.28 percent rate on sales $250,000 to $1 million, higher rates of 2 percent for sales $1 million to $5 million, and 2.5 percent for sales over $5 million. AWC requests that a similar authorization be enacted as a local option.
  • Concern with one provision requiring cities to collect information on subcontractors for projects that receive building permits. This new mandate would put significant liability on cities, placing new enforcement responsibility on our building inspectors and creating a new disincentive for contractors to apply for local building permits.

No action has been taken on the Senate bill since the hearing, and the House bill awaits further action in the House Rules Committee. As these measures are related to the 2017-19 operating budget, further action will be dependent upon budget negotiations.

Categories: Budget & finance
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