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Gov. Inslee renews push for capital gains tax in proposed budget

Gov. Inslee on Dec. 17, 2020. (TVW)

Gov. Inslee is renewing his push for a state capital gains tax on the sale of stocks, bonds, and other assets.

Check out the full budget summary here
Check out the budget highlights here

In his budget proposal announcement, Inslee said the tax would not apply to sole proprietor businesses, retirement accounts, homes, farms, and forestry. Instead, he said it would affect only the state’s wealthiest taxpayers.

The capital gains tax would take effect in the second year of the 2021-23 biennium and is expected to raise $3.5 billion over the next four years.

Gov. Inslee showed a graph that illustrated income tax in Washington state, pointing out that the top 1% pay only 3% in income tax. The bottom 20% pays 17.8% in income taxes.

The governor has held a news conference every day this week. On Wednesday, he announced he supports the reopening of schools under specific guidelines. On Tuesday, he announced a climate change action plan. Inslee unveiled a proposed program Monday to help “eliminate racial disparities” in Washington.

In addition to the capital gains tax, Governor Inslee will ask state legislators to pass more relief bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will be working with the legislature to approve legislation early in the session in January for another $100 million to help in small business grants, particularly with those businesses that have had to close some of their services because of the pandemic,” Inslee said, adding that the federal grants received to date are nearly spent.

Inslee added that he will ask for the same amount to help renters and landlords.

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