Legislation that would finally levy a state capital gains tax on the wealthy in Washington State is on the cusp of reaching Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.
By a vote of fifty two to forty-four, the House of Representatives voted to adopt a final version of the bill (ESSB 5096) that was negotiated by a conference committee consisting of three state representatives and three state senators.
All that is now needed is a corresponding vote in the Senate, and then the bill — one of the most important and consequential progressive tax reform proposals in state history — will be on its way to Governor Inslee’s desk at last.
The roll call was as follows:
Capital gains tax
Final Passage as recommended by the Conference Committee
Yeas: 52; Nays: 44; Excused: 2
Voting Yea: Representatives Bateman, Berg, Bergquist, Berry, Callan, Chopp, Cody, Davis, Dolan, Duerr, Entenman, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Goodman, Gregerson, Hackney, Hansen, Harris-Talley, Johnson, Kirby, Kloba, Lekanoff, Lovick, Macri, Morgan, Ormsby, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Peterson, Pollet, Ramel, Ramos, Riccelli, Ryu, Santos, Sells, Senn, Shewmake, Simmons, Slatter, Springer, Stonier, Sullivan, Taylor, Thai, Tharinger, Valdez, Walen, Wicks, Wylie, Jinkins
Voting Nay: Representatives Abbarno, Barkis, Boehnke, Bronoske, Caldier, Chambers, Chandler, Chapman, Chase, Corry, Dent, Dufault, Dye, Eslick, Gilday, Goehner, Graham, Griffey, Harris, Hoff, Jacobsen, Klicker, Klippert, Kraft, Kretz, Leavitt, MacEwen, Maycumber, McCaslin, Mosbrucker, Orcutt, Paul, Rude, Rule, Schmick, Steele, Stokesbary, Sutherland, Vick, Volz, Walsh, Wilcox, Ybarra, Young
Excused: Representatives McEntire, Robertson
Two Republicans did not participate in the vote. The rest voted no, along with the same five Democratic representatives who voted against the bill earlier this week: Mari Leavitt, Dan Bronoske, Dave Paul, Alicia Rule, and Mike Chapman.
The other fifty-two Democratic representatives voted aye.
Leavitt, Bronoske, Paul, Rule, and Chapman all represent districts that, in their current incarnation, are widely considered swing districts. As their votes were not needed to pass the bill, no progressive activist should be upset that they voted no. What is important is that this finally got done, at least on the House side.
As mentioned, there is only one step left in the legislative process before the bill leaves the Legislature and heads to the governor’s office for bill action, and that’s the Senate vote on adoption of the conference committee report.
Presuming the same twenty-five senators who previously voted for the bill do so again, NPI’s top legislative priority will have received a total of four affirmative floor votes prior to Sine Die (the final adjournment at the end of session).
It’s hard to put into words how elated we feel right now.
We are so, so, so close to a major progressive tax reform victory in Washington State. Nearly three in five Washingtonians support levying a capital gains tax on the wealthy to benefit priorities like education, according to our research. We have been asking about levying a capital gains tax on the wealthy for six straight years, and we’ve always found a robust majority in support.
Kudos to Democratic legislators for finally making this happen. We have one more vote to go, and then this worthy legislation will be in Governor Inslee’s hands.