Washington governor proposes changes to sales tax


Of Oregon Public Broadcasting

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing a change that could require Oregonians to pay sales tax in his state.

Under the proposal, non-Washington residents would need to pay state sales tax and then apply for a refund using receipts.

The state would get additional revenue from customers who didn’t go to the trouble of claiming their refunds.

Currently, residents in Oregon -- and other states that don't have a sale tax -- can show their state IDs and retailers have the option to exempt them from paying Washington state sales tax.

According to the Washington Department of Revenue, under the proposal, an individual or business would need to show they paid more than $25 in retail sales tax before qualifying for a refund.

Inslee’s proposal would generate an estimated $24 million for fiscal year 2016 and more than $27 million the following year, according to the agency.

The change is part of Inslee’s budget proposal, which he unveiled earlier this month.

“He’s very open to hearing from legislators, other ideas, which of these ideas they like better than others," said David Postman, spokesman for the governor. "Together they will have to come up with something before the session is over that balances the budget.”

The Legislature will take up the governor’s budget in January.

Lawmakers will need to come up with $1 billion more for education to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling.

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