taxes | KUOW News and Information


Just like Oregonians have never accepted a general sales tax, voters in neighboring Washington state have proven to be allergic to a state income tax. But at this November's election, a city tax on high incomes is on the ballot in Olympia.

And it could launch a test case if it passes.

housing: Apartment buildings in the University District, Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times columnist Jon Talton about a tax Vancouver, B.C. imposed on foreign real estate buyers and its impact on Seattle's housing market. 

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you may have seen ads urging you to vote "no" on a grocery tax. "Don't Tax Our Groceries" is the tagline of the $9.5 million campaign, which is funded by the American Beverage Association.

In one ad, the camera pans to images of tomatoes and beans, as a local business owner says, "The grocery tax is going to hurt my customers."

But here's the thing. There's no grocery tax on the ballot.

Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday rolled out a new tax break that, if enacted, would put more money into the pockets of working parents with very young children.

The Democratic presidential candidate said she would push for a doubling of the current $1,000 tax credit for children ages 4 and under. An estimated 15 million children would be eligible.

The World Health Organization has already urged us to cut back on sugar, limiting added sugars to no more than 10 percent of our daily calories.

Venture Capitalist Nick Hanauer, in his downtown Seattle office.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Millionaire Nick Hanauer is not down with how Donald Trump is skirting his taxes.

Seattle officials are planning to raise the taxes and fees on business owners. This week, a City Council committee approved the changes to the Business and Occupation tax and the business license fee. The mayor proposed the changes in  June.

The money would be used to hire 80 more police officers, out of the 200 Mayor Ed Murray has called for.

The Washington state Capitol in Olympia.
Flickr Photo/amishrobot (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A group of citizens in Olympia want the city to be the first in Washington to have an income tax. Their initiative could be on the November ballot.

As the election nears, leaders in Olympia’s city hall are fighting the measure.

A newly released report from the left-leaning Oregon Center for Public Policy has found that Oregon corporations today are paying a smaller portion of the state's income and property taxes than they did 40 years ago.

Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to impose a tax on sugary drinks after its City Council voted on June 16 to approve a 1.5 cents-per-ounce surcharge on soda and other sweetened beverages.

Here is our original post from June 9:

What's included in the proposed new tax?

Sen. Reuven Carlyle was one of the plaintiffs in the case against I-1366, which was sponsored by Tim Eyman.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

The latest tax-limiting initiative approved by Washington voters will not go into effect. Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Justices said the measure violated the requirement that initiatives be limited to a single subject.

But a poll shows voters still support the crux of the initiative.

Washington state has a fraught relationship with the idea of an income tax. The state currently does not have one.
Drew Christie

Olympia could become the first city in Washington to charge an income tax.

In this Nov. 11, 2013 file photo Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, adjusts his glasses as he prepares to sign legislation in Seattle to help keep production of Boeing's new 777X in Washington.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

Boeing’s mega-tax breaks have focused public attention on the state legislature’s decisions to forgo tax revenues.

The legislature offers more than 600 different types of tax breaks to businesses in the state.

Preschool teacher Cindy Bly opens class at Quinsigamond School in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Many of the pupils in the school come from economically stressed families. Achievement here is ranked in the bottom fifth of the state.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

In Washington state, we look at Massachusetts with envy.

Massachusetts has a top-ranked education system, whereas Washington is in the lower middle.