Bills to raise taxes remain in play
With less than a week remaining before their scheduled Sunday adjournment, state lawmakers are working to compromise on a new, two-year state spending plan.
Washington Retail remains opposed to bills seeking to impose new taxes on capital gains, real estate sales and professional services. WR believes a balanced budget can be adopted without new taxes due to steadily increasing state revenues the past decade.
Meanwhile, WR also is monitoring outcomes of other bills that could have a bearing on retailers in general.
- SB 5258, approved by the House and Senate, would require employers to supply employees who work alone such as sales clerks or security guards to be outfitted with a panic button to improve their safety. It must be signed into law by the Governor.
- SB 5376, regarding data privacy, passed the Senate but had not come up for House vote earlier this week. WR opposes the bill and prefers a consistent federal government standard for protecting private consumer information.
- SB 5397 that would have required manufacturers of plastic packaging to participate in recycling before they could sell in the state will be the subject of further study between the 2019 and 2020 Legislative Sessions.
- SB 5323, a ban on plastic shopping bags, has passed the Senate but not the House.
- HB 1559 back-to-school sale tax holiday. The bill remains under consideration due to its relationship to budget adoption discussions. WR supports the bill to increase retail sales.
WR will issue members a detailed report on the outcome of bills related to retailers in the weeks following adjournment.