Tax increases passed by Democrats | 2019-22

Despite strong state tax collections during the 2019-21 legislative sessions, majority Democrats chose to increase taxes on individuals, families and businesses in Washington state. You can find details on these tax increases below.

State lawmakers entered the 2022 legislative session with a historic, $15 billion budget surplus. Unfortunately, majority Democrats ignored various Republican tax-relief proposals and chose not to provide meaningful tax relief to Washingtonians. They passed a supplemental operating budget (SB 5693) that continued a trend of massive state spending increases. Compared to 2019-21, this budget increased state spending by nearly $12.5 billion (24%) – the largest percentage increase in modern budgeting history.

In the 2022 legislative session, majority Democrats also passed a partisan, $17 billion transportation package (SB 5974 and SB 5975) that increased transportation-related fees and taxes for Washingtonians. Learn more here.

2019-21 Total Tax Increases
$11,545,000,000
(’21-25 Fiscal Impact)
2021 Tax Increases
Bill No.
Topic
’21-25 Fiscal Impact
Data Source
Income Tax on Capital Gains

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $1,255,000,000

Source: Summary (page 47)
$100 Surcharge on Certain Recorded Documents

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $584,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note

 

2020 Tax Increases
Bill No.
Topic
’21-25 Fiscal Impact
Data Source
Update to Workforce Education B&O Tax

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $450,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
Heavy Equipment†

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $42,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note

†This took personal property tax on heavy equipment off the rolls and instead charges a tax at point-of-sale. The property tax will be shifted to everyone else, so this is a net revenue gain to the state.

2019 Tax Increases
Bill No.
Topic
’21-25 Fiscal Impact
Data Source
Long-Term Care Payroll Tax*

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $3,730,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
K-12 Max Levy Authority**

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $2,976,000,000

Source: Internal analysis
Business & Occupation (B&O) Tax for Workforce Education

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $845,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
Graduated Real Estate Excise Tax

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $724,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
B&O Tax Increase for Financial Institutions

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $425,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
Model Toxics Control Act

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $380,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
Out-of-State Sales Tax

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $122,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note
Travel Agents

’21-25 Fiscal Impact: $12,000,000

Source: Fiscal Note

*This bill assessed a premium for long-term care. The fiscal impact represents Employment Security Department’s assessed premiums for fiscal years ’22-25.
**This bill did not directly raise taxes but allowed local school districts to raise additional property taxes.