The Journal 

Bills could shift 'sin taxes'

Cities, counties would benefit


Last updated 1/31/2024 at 1:13pm

OLYMPIA – Sen. Keith Wagoner has introduced two bills in the Legislature to return more “sin tax” revenues to local governments.

Wagoner, R-Sedro Woolley, has introduced Senate Bills 5568 and 5404 to shift the tax revenue as alternatives to bills which would raise property taxex.

Senate Bill 5568 would restore liquor-sales revenue distributions to local governments. Under the bill, 10% would go to counties, and 40% to incorporated cities and towns.

Senate Bill 5404 would increase cannabis-revenue distributions to local governments.

The bill would dedicate 3% of cannabis revenue to counties, cities and towns, where licensed cannabis retailers are physically located; and 7% to counties, cities and towns on a per capita basis.

Under the bill, counties must receive 60% of the distribution based on each county’s total proportional population.

“While the state’s coffers continue to benefit from years of excessive revenue surpluses, and a property-tax increase is not needed at the state level, I realize some local governments are in desperate need of additional revenue,” Wagoner said. “Rather than raising taxes on hard-working Washingtonians, the two measures I have introduced would provide local government with more resources without increasing the burden on property owners.”

Wagoner introduced the bills in response to a bill proposed in increase in property taxes.

“My legislation would reject this cruel, unfair and regressive approach, and instead provide local governments with a larger share of the liquor and cannabis tax revenue they were intended to receive in the first place,” he said.


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