Inslee vetoes tax break for manufacturers

A surprise veto by Governor Inslee as he vetoed a tax break for manufacturers.

Gov. Jay Inslee has vetoed a plan to give manufacturers the same tax cut that the Legislature previously gave to Boeing.

The tax break was one of 13 listed in a bill that Inslee signed Friday, though he used his veto pen on both the manufacturing business and occupation tax rate and also on a sales tax exemption for TransAlta as it converts its coal plant to natural gas.

While some Republicans had argued that the manufacturing tax break was part of an overall state budget deal that ultimately avoided a partial government shutdown, Inslee's office insists he was never directly asked about - and never agreed to - the tax cut for manufacturers.

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, said in a statement that Inslee stood up "for transparency and accountability" with the veto.

“If manufacturers want to come back to the Legislature in the future to ask for a tax break, they should be prepared to show the public that they will serve the public good by reducing emissions and keeping jobs in Washington," Fitzgibbon said in a statement.

Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Sammamish, said in a blog post Inslee was stabbing workers in the back with the veto. He was the prime sponsor of the bill.

“What the governor did is an outrage and a major blow to both small business employers and families desperate to find a job,” said Rossi, R-Sammamish. “While downtown Seattle has weathered the Great Recession just fine, workers in the rest of the state have not been as fortunate. This is especially true for the manufacturing sector, which has historically been a source of good, family-wage jobs for those in the struggling middle class.”

The rate would have lowered manufacturer's rate from .484 percent to .2904 percent, costing the state about $64 million over the next four years.

© 2017 KING-TV


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