House Budget Proposal Prioritizes Funding for Education

The House budget released this morning recognizes that fixing our broken revenue system is necessary to make progress toward creating shared prosperity in Washington state. The two-year spending proposal prioritizes investments for kids and students using $1.5 billion in new revenue.

House Democrats Present a $5.1 Billion Budget Problem for 2015-17

The proposal would increase policy level spending by $2.4 billion near general fund-state plus opportunity pathways. Given those increases and the maintenance level costs (the costs of continuing current services), the summary estimates that there is a $5.1 billion problem for the biennium. (I-1351 class size reduction and I-732 COLAs are included in maintenance level.)

State Legislature Has Huge Budget Disagreements To Overcome

The number of disagreements over budget items is mounting. Democrats say that new taxes are needed to close significant gaps, while Republicans remain vehemently opposed. The Senate has yet to reveal its budget proposal and already, legislators are taking shots at one another.

Washington State Lagging in Key Measures of Progress

On more than half of almost 100 measures of progress – from employment opportunities for our residents to the education of future generations – we are stalled or going backward. Those are the primary findings of the Washington Budget & Policy Center newly released Progress Index.

What Exactly Should Washington State Get From Boeing In Exchange For Tax Breaks?

State officials say we actually gain more in state and local tax dollars than we give up through tax breaks. Still, since the tax break extension passed, Boeing’s headcount in the state has shrunk by 3,000 jobs. But, since the tax breaks were first created in 2003, the company has added more than 25,000 jobs in the state.

State Lawmakers Eye Pension Changes for New Public Sector Workers

State lawmakers may increase the age when new public employees can retire with full pension benefits, and cap the amount of income used to calculate future public employees’ pension checks. The separate proposals are part of a push by some Republican lawmakers to reduce the state’s long-term public pension liabilities.

Washington State’s Tax Exemptions

Washington tax exemptions top $2 billion every two years. KPLU has created an interactive graphic that highlights all the tax emptions by the type of beneficiary.

Interstate Comparisons of State and Local Government Revenues

For fiscal year 2012, Washington ranked 18th among the states own source revenue per capita ($6,516), 22nd among the states in taxes per capita ($4,269), 30th in own source revenue as a percentage of personal income (14.8 percent), and 35th in taxes as a percentage of personal income (9.7 percent).