154 Days and Counting...

We continue to hope to have great news to share with you, but the budget process continues to drag on. As of today (June 16) the Legislature has now been in session for 154 days, and with the potential of a July 1 shutdown, we believe that a deal will be reached very soon. Here is where things stand on the budget, and on one other policy issue:

Nathan Gorton

The Senate continues to draw a line on new revenue. They continue to point out that, because of a growing economy, revenues will be up almost 10% for the next budget. They feel that 10% natural growth should be enough to fully fund education and other priorities. Their proposed budget puts  $1.3 Billion into education, lowers class sizes for K-3 grade, and takes care of several other education concerns. The Senate majority tells us that they will continue to stay strong on both a B&O increase and a Capital Gains Income Tax. Meanwhile the House is still pushing for some sort of new or increased revenue. While they have apparently backed off of their demands on a B&O increase, they are still insisting on a Capital Gains Income Tax. This tax is being sold as a tax on a few “Microsoft millionaires” in Washington, BUT we continue to have serious concerns about the impact on property and the sale of small businesses. Under the current House proposal both second homes and investment properties would be subject to a 6% tax on any profits above $25,000 for single filers and $50,000 for joint filers. Under this bill, an individual wishing to sell their stake in a real estate company, for example, would also be subject to the same tax. We are concerned that the impacts of this tax are being misrepresented to the general public as a tax on millionaires. Clearly this tax will impact many middle class Washingtonians who are looking for a way other than the stock market to prepare for their retirement. Recover Washington is continuing to push the message that we don’t need new taxes on small business, I have attached our latest ad to this email.

Please watch for one final all member call to action that will be launched June 17, 2015 on the Capital Gains Tax
. Please help us promote the CTA, we need one last big push to defeat this idea this legislative session.




Besides budget issues, there is very little discussion on policy issues as we come to the final days (hopefully) of the session. Last week, however, the House pulled to the floor a bill that we have agreed to on REET. This bill is a piece of legislation that we have been talking about all session, and it finally came together just in time. HB 2122 allows Cities and Counties to use 25% of their Real Estate Excise Tax, up to one million dollars, to maintain anything that they can build with REET. However, any city that decides to use this flexibility may not have local point of sale mandates in place on the sale of a home. We think this is a huge win for REALTORS, and Cities and Counties. They get some financial flexibility, and we will not have to worry about local point of sale issues. The bill passed the house 86-3 last week, and we expect it to see the Senate floor next week.

Thank you for your help this session protecting the Real Estate Industry and the buyers and sellers you all serve.


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