News Releases

Murray, Cantwell, Baird Celebrate Passage of Sales Tax Deduction

Dec 12 2006

IRS will provide information on how to take advantage of deduction soon after president signs measure into law

SEATTLE, WA – Tuesday at a Seattle car dealership, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell joined Congressman Brian Baird for a press conference to highlight last week’s passage of the state sales tax deductibility measure in Congress. The measure extends the sales tax cut for the 2006 and 2007 tax years.

“Washington families have waited long enough for tax fairness, and now they'll get more money in their pockets and a more vibrant local economy. Be sure to get the new form from the IRS website next week, so you can get all the tax benefits you deserve,” Murray said.

“Extending this vital deduction is a big win for Washington’s middle class families,” Cantwell said. “This long-overdue extension of the sales tax deduction means a big boost for our state’s economy and an average of nearly 600 dollars in savings for hundreds of thousands of families here in the northwest.”

Baird said, “Getting this bill passed was truly a collaborative effort of the entire Washington delegation, and I thank Senators Murray and Cantwell for their leadership on this issue. These state sales tax extenders will provide Washingtonians with hundred of extra dollars to use toward college tuition, home improvement projects, new cars, and will help add to our local economy. It is a common sense solution that I will continue making permanent.”

To take advantage of the deduction, tax filers should obtain IRS Publication 600, which will be made available on the IRS website (www.irs.gov) within three days of the president’s signing of the bill. Hard copies of Publication 600 will go out in the mail after the holidays and will be available at local IRS offices, libraries, post offices, and other locations that provide tax forms. The members will post links to the forms on their websites as soon as the forms are made public.

Baird led the effort in the House of Representatives, and worked with members from both sides of the aisle, to bring the state sales tax extension bill to the floor before adjournment last week. Cantwell and Murray both worked for months to get the deduction through the Senate and deliver tax fairness to Washington state. The provision extending the sales tax deduction was part of a larger tax extenders package benefiting middle class families. It included deductions for college tuition and teachers who use their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms, and the research and development tax credit.

Baird and Cantwell have also introduced stand-alone legislation, co-sponsored by Murray, that would make the state sales tax deduction a permanent feature of the U.S. tax code. In most states, taxpayers can deduct state income taxes from their total federally taxable income. From 1986 until 2004, residents of states that substitute a higher sales tax for state income taxes went without a deduction for sales taxes. In 2004, Congressman Baird, Senator Cantwell, and Senator Murray worked with a bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives to pass a two-year sales tax deduction into law. The lawmakers have fought continuously since then to extend the deduction and make it permanent.