(Washington, DC) – Today, the Senate passed a tax bill that will send direct aid to taxpayers and companies in Washington state to help grow the economy, provide needed relief to the middle class and restore fairness to the tax code. Senator Patty Murray lauded the bill as a win for all taxpayers and a boon for job-creating businesses, including Boeing and Microsoft, in the state.
"This tax cut will put much-needed money directly in the pockets of middle-class Washingtonians while also supporting job growth in the state. With our economy continuing its slump, this is exactly the type of targeted tax relief we must pursue," Murray said.
In a final and long-awaited victory for tax fairness, Senator Murray announced that the legislation will allow Washington state taxpayers to deduct sales tax. Now, for the first time in 18 years, Washington state taxpayers will be able to deduct state and local sales tax from their federal tax return.
"For years, the federal government has unfairly penalized all of us who pay taxes in Washington state. Today, we've righted that injustice," Murray said.
Washington state taxpayers will save roughly $500 million due to today's action, roughly $300-$500 per taxpayer. Murray worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to ensure the sales tax provision was included in the final bill.
“Thanks to Senator Murray’s tireless efforts, Washington state taxpayers will get substantial tax relief next year through a state sales tax deduction. But it is not only the Washington consumers who pay billions in sales taxes each year that will benefit from her work on this bill. Senator Murray also successfully fought for incentives to assist the timber industry, so important in her home state,” said Baucus, the lead Senate Democrat on the tax-writing Finance Committee.
The legislation also includes job-creating tax provisions that will help companies including Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks maintain and create jobs.
"We've got to do more to create quality jobs in our state and provide businesses with the incentives they need to keep them there. This bill is an important step forward in that ongoing battle," Murray said.
The provisions are included in H.R. 4520, the American Jobs Creation Act conference report, which was passed by the Senate 69-17-1 and now awaits President Bush's signature.