SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Passed Senate, April 28, 2019
Title: An act relating to tax preferences.
Brief Description: Concerning tax preferences.
Sponsors: House Committee on Finance (originally sponsored by Representative Tarleton).
Brief History: Passed House: 4/26/19, 93-4.
Committee Activity: Ways & Means: 4/27/19 [DP, w/oRec].
Passed Senate: 4/28/19, 47-1.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Rolfes, Chair; Frockt, Vice Chair, Operating, Capital Lead; Mullet, Capital Budget Cabinet; Braun, Ranking Member; Brown, Assistant Ranking Member, Operating; Honeyford, Assistant Ranking Member, Capital; Bailey, Becker, Billig, Carlyle, Conway, Darneille, Hunt, Keiser, Liias, Palumbo, Pedersen, Rivers, Van De Wege, Wagoner, Warnick and Wilson, L..
Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.
Signed by Senators Hasegawa and Schoesler.
Staff: Alia Kennedy (786-7405)
Background: Business and Occupation Tax. Washington's major business tax is the business and occupation (B&O) tax. The B&O tax is imposed on the gross receipts of business activities conducted within the state, without any deduction for the costs of doing business. Businesses must pay the B&O tax even though they may not have any profits or may be operating at a loss.
A taxpayer may have more than one B&O tax rate, depending on the types of activities conducted. Major B&O tax rates are 0.471 percent for retailing; 0.484 percent for manufacturing, wholesaling, and extracting; and 1.5 percent for services and for activities not classified elsewhere. Several preferential rates also apply to specific business activities.
In addition, a taxpayer may be eligible to utilize other tax preferences, including credits and deductions, to reduce their tax liability. For example, a taxpayer engaging in activities subject to different B&O tax rates may be eligible for a multiple activities tax credit. A taxpayer may also be eligible for a small business credit that will either eliminate or reduce their B&O tax liability. In general, the credit is $70 per month for service businesses and $35 per month for all other businesses, multiplied by the number of months in the reporting period. The amount of the credit available phases out based on the business's gross receipts.
A business does not have to file an annual B&O tax return if the business does not owe other taxes or fees to the Department of Revenue and has annual gross proceeds of sales, gross income, or value of products for all B&O tax classifications of less than $28,000 per year, or less than $46,667 if at least 50 percent of its taxable income is from services or activities not classified elsewhere.
Summary of Bill: A B&O exemption is provided to hospitals owned by a county with a population greater than 2 million and managed by a state university. The exemption expires on January 1, 2030.
Fiscal Note: Requested on April 26, 2019.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect on July 1, 2019.