Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Pollet to propose ending tax loopholes to fund basic education

OlympiaRep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle) will propose recommendations to close over $170 million worth of tax loopholes in order to help meet our children’s constitutional rights to basic education on Wednesday, January 6th during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee (JLARC).

“It’s time to stop giving away tax exemptions and continuing loopholes that make our tax system unfair and prevent us from funding our children’s schools,” said Rep. Pollet. “The JLARC reports find there is no discernable legislative intent to explain why the Legislature ever created these tax exemptions and loopholes.”

The proposal would do away with the following giveaways:

  • $120 million for the next biennium for fuel used by agribusiness on farms, heating chicken houses, and farm machinery replacement;
  • Nearly $50 million for interest on real estate loans for some banks

“Agribusiness shouldn’t escape paying for roads and schools it needs, and expect everyone else to pay” Rep. Pollet noted.

The Legislature intended to encourage true community banks to keep home loans in the community. Instead, JLARC found the current law is so over generous to banks that the state’s legislative auditor found: “Evidence presented in this year’s review indicates that: Qualifying lenders sell more than two-thirds of their loan amounts within one year of the loan origination.”

Despite selling the loans, banks avoid paying $50 million in taxes which would otherwise be owed on their loan sale revenues.

The next meeting of the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee will be January 6th from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, at the John A. Cherberg building Senate Hearing Room A.