Republicans say property tax cut should have been immediate, larger
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SUGGESTED LEAD: The state House of Representatives approved a bill that would provide a one-time property tax reduction next year. Although some Republican lawmakers voted for the measure, most Republicans agreed the Legislature could have done better. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: Senate Bill 6614 would reduce state property taxes by 30 cents per one-thousand dollars of assessed valuation. That's about 90 bucks on a home of $300-thousand dollars.
House Republicans agreed property taxes should be cut. But they also felt the state could afford to give more relief to taxpayers.
STOKESBARY: “This money belongs first and foremost to the taxpayers”
STOKESBARY: “And to the extent that our tax receipts are higher than our spending obligations, we should be returning this money to the taxpayers. And what better way to do it than for a property tax cut.”
SATTGAST: But Republicans, such as Representative Ed Orcutt, said property tax relief shouldn't be delayed. It should be immediate.
ORCUTT: “My concern here is I keep hearing arguments that people are about to lose their homes, and we need to do this, and we need to do this right away. This doesn't benefit anybody until April 30th of 2019.”
SATTGAST: Concerns were also voiced about taking money from the state's rainy day fund to pay for tax cut, when a bill Representative Cary Condotta proposed would have provided immediate and larger property tax relief using excess revenues.
CONDOTTA: “I never anticipated using a reserve account. We have more than enough money not to. Also, I think it was very important it was done this year.”
SATTGAST: Eight Republicans joined Democrats to vote for the measure. The final vote was 59 to 39. The bill now goes to the governor.
John Sattgast, Olympia.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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