Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Mo' Better than the Book | My Flicker Photo of the Day »

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oly Folly

posted by on February 25 at 15:15 PM

As I’ve Slogged a couple of times now, one of the best pieces of legislation in play this session in Olympia is Sen. Craig Pridemore’s (D-49, Vancouver) working families tax credit.

With a price tag of about $60 million, the program would allow low-income families (families who qualify for the federal level Earned Income Tax Credit) to get a tax rebate at the state level. These taxpayers currently can’t get a break at the state level because Washington State doesn’t have an income tax (we have a regressive sales tax). And since these aren’t the type of wage earners who can file at the state level for sales tax deductions that higher income taxpayers get to claim, Pridemore’s fix simply calls on the state to give them a rebate based on their federal deduction.

Sen. Pridemore passed the bill out of the Senate, with a caveat that they wouldn’t have to fund it this year. (As the bill made its way to the Senate floor last week, state revenue projections dropped by $423 million.)

This has given the House a legitimate excuse not to pass his legislation, though. Why bother with something that isn’t funded?

I talked to Sen. Pridemore today, and he argues that the advantage of passing the legislation this year is that it will take a year to get the program in place anyway. If Pridemore holds off, working families will be strapped unnecessarily for an extra year. If the program is in place, the momentum will be there to fund it next year.

It’s an okay argument (an okay argument), but really, Sen. Pridemore should have stuck to his initial bill, and passed funded legislation. After all, as our conversation proceeded, Sen. Pridemore landed on his best argument for passing the bill this year: “We’re going to have $750 million in reserves, saying we don’t have the money for this is not true.” Exactly.

The bill is currently in the House finance committee where the House finance chair, Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond), has told Sen. Pridemore he doesn’t have the votes.

RSS icon Comments


Seems to me "the advantage of passing the legislation this year" is that it's a craven election year ploy.

Posted by Ed the Head | February 25, 2008 3:20 PM

Which? The lack of funding, or the fact that most of the funding at the county level already goes to jails/police/etc?

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 25, 2008 3:39 PM

Is he limited to passing this bill to budget sessions?

Posted by six shooter | February 25, 2008 4:58 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).