WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tuesday, Jan. 25, on the day of the President's State of the Union address, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced her first bill of the 112th Congress: bipartisan legislation that would make the state and local sales tax deduction permanent for Washingtonians.
This bill allows taxpayers in states without an income tax to deduct the sales tax they pay on a permanent basis. This bill is a top priority for Cantwell because she believes a permanent deduction is warranted to ensure tax fairness and to avoid the uncertainty of ad-hoc, temporary extensions.
Cantwell has fought every year since joining the Senate to extend this deduction, and ultimately, to make it permanent.
"The state sales tax deduction is a matter of ensuring Washingtonians receive the same tax benefits as residents in other parts of the country," said Cantwell.
She continued, "During this time of economic uncertainty, it's also about keeping more hard-earned income in our pockets. This deduction means real money for real families, an average of $500 or more in the pockets of over 800,000 Washington state taxpayers."
The uncertainty caused by the temporary nature of the deduction has real impacts on Washington families, leading to delayed tax filings and refund checks, said Cantwell.
Although Cantwell secured an extension for the 2010 tax year during the lame-duck Congress last month, the long delay caused complications for the Internal Revenue Service, which means Washingtonians and other taxpayers who file itemized returns cannot file with the IRS until Feb. 14, a month later than other taxpayers. The extension Cantwell secured also applies to the 2011 tax year.