Consumers in Washington state pay the fourth highest sales taxes in the country, according to a new data from the Tax Foundation. The report on combined state and local sales taxes put Washington’s average rate at 8.87 percent — a 6.5 percent state tax plus an average 2.37 percent local tax rate. In Seattle, the…More
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After years of talk, Congress is moving toward possibly ending a loophole that has prevented states from collecting sales taxes on many Internet purchases.
The U.S. Senate could vote this week to approve the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would end the longstanding tax advantage enjoyed by Internet retailers like Amazon.com over their brick-and-mortar competitors.
The proposal, which passed a test vote Monday in the Senate, would require companies with sales of more than $1 million to begin collecting sales and local taxes for purchases over the Internet.
That could mean a big windfall for the Washington state treasury – bringing in an additional $184 million for the 2013-15 budget, according to an estimate by the state Department of Revenue. That would rise to more than $567 million in 2015-17 as compliance ramps up, the state predicts. Cities and counties would also get a share – more than $278 million by 2015-17.
But lawmakers currently haggling over the state budget are not expecting that money to bail them out — at least in the short term.More
King County officials are pushing legislation in Olympia that would allow them to raise the local sales tax to pay for human services and public safety expenses — without asking for voter approval. Counties are currently allowed to ask voters for a public-safety tax increase of up to 0.3 percent, and 10 counties have successfully won…More