State Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 5937, which would increase the state sales and use tax by 1 percent. The measure would raise over $2 billion for the coming 2011-2013 biennium. The temporary increase would expire at the end of the biennium, but could end even sooner if the economy recovers and unemployment rates drop.
According to a news release from Shin’s office, when the unemployment rate decreases to 6.5 percent for four continuous months, the rate of additional tax must be reduced to 0.5 percent. Further, when the unemployment rate decreases to 5 percent for four continuous months, no additional tax may be imposed.
According to the latest figures, from February 2011, the current state unemployment rate is 9.1 percent.
“It is essential that we consider all of our options, as we try to solve a budget crisis that will undoubtedly have far-reaching and potentially life-altering impacts on thousands of Washingtonians,” Shin said. “I believe it is our duty to protect the services that represent our core values as human beings: education for our children, services for our senior citizens, and the basic health needs of our children and disabled. I began my life as a homeless orphan living on the streets, and I served as an educator for 30 years. Believe me when I say that I know the pain these cuts are having on our fellow Washingtonians.”