Cantwell continues the fight to protect sales tax deductions
Once again, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is urging Congress to extend the state and local sales tax deduction for Washington residents and seven other states that don’t have an income tax.
The sales tax deduction, which expired at the end of December, would allow Washingtonians to deduct sales tax on their federal income tax return. Yesterday, Cantwell and 13 other Senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ask him to make the extension a priority this session.
Cantwell, along with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and other members of congress, has tried unsuccessfully to make the deduction permanent. Instead, members of Congress from states without an income tax fight for the extension each time it expires.
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing in the nation’s capitol earlier this week, Cantwell expressed her frustration with the process.
“I’m offended when someone thinks that the sales tax deduction which is about equity for states like Washington, and Florida, and South Dakota and others is somehow special,” Cantwell said, adding that the deduction used to be in the tax code. “And yet every year we have to play this game about whether or not we are going to have the equity that other states have.”
Alaska, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming also don’t have a state sales tax. Taxpayers in these states lost the ability to make the itemized sales tax deduction in 1986. Their ability was restored in 2004 but never made permanent.