- Support HB 2064 to fix our state’s current estate tax in order to maintain revenue streams dedicated to funding K-12 and higher education, and
- To block any effort to use HB 2064 to reduce the estate taxes paid by millionaires.
Background: The state legislature is currently challenged to find $160 million to fully fund education and comply with the State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. In a separate decision, the State Supreme Court ruled (see Braken decision for more information) statutory language does not exactly support how the Department of Revenue has administered taxes on millionaires’ estates, even though others assert Department of Revenue policies followed the intent of the legislature. In the absence of legislative action to correct state statue in light of the Braken decision, next week the Department of Revenue will be forced to pay $130 million in estate tax rebates. There is a strong push in the senate to use the effort to fix state law in light of Braken to also reduce the taxes currently paid by millionaires’ estates by as much as 75 percent. This would be accomplished by increasing the threshold estate value that triggers the tax from its current $2 million level to a $5 million level instead (see Estate Taxes for more information). HB 2064 passed the House Thursday and was referred to Senate Ways and Means where it could be heard the week beginning Sunday, June 2nd. FCWPP encourages you to ask your state senator to support efforts to protect the revenue historically generated by the estate tax, and dedicated to funding education, by supporting HB 2064 and to oppose any effort to use HB 2064 to reduce taxes paid on estates valued at more than $2 million. Legislators’ email addresses are in the form: email@example.com, so, for example, Senator James Hargrove is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can leave a phone message for your representatives using the the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. To find the names of your legislators go to the app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ and enter your street address. Thanks for all you do, FCWPP Legislative Committee