Cantwell seeks to make sales tax deduction permanent

Bainbridge Island Review - Staff

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell's first bill of the 113th Congress would make the tax deduction for Washington's sales tax permanent.

The deduction has been temporarily extended in recent years, but the Washington Democrat said making the deduction permanent would bring certainty and tax fairness to Washington taxpayers.

The bill also includes taxpayers in seven other states that do not have an income tax.

“The sales tax deduction puts an average of nearly $500 back into the pockets of 950,000 Washingtonians,” Cantwell said. “Making this deduction permanent would end the uncertainty these taxpayers face and extend tax fairness to Washington state. It is time to correct this inequity in the tax code and provide certainty for Washington taxpayers.”

Cantwell introduced the bill Tuesday with Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Earlier this month, Cantwell led the fight to pass a two-year extension of the state and local sales tax deduction, covering calendar years 2012 and 2013. The inclusion of the sales tax deduction in the fiscal cliff deal capped off a year-long battle by Cantwell for its extension.

The new bill would make the state and local sales tax deduction a permanent part of the tax code.

For 2010, the most recent year of published IRS data, more than 950,000 Washingtonians took advantage of the state and local sales tax deduction and reduced their taxable income subject to federal income tax by more than $2 billion.

Taxpayers in Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Texas and Florida are also eligible for the sales tax deduction.