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Washington Sales Tax Exemption

OPB | March 1, 2012 9:45 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 11:16 p.m.

Are you a resident of Oregon who shops in Washington? If so, do you make sure to tell merchants where you’re from in order to avoid paying the state sales tax? Well that exemption may change as Washington lawmakers are considering repealing the long-standing sales tax exemption for out-of-state visitors.

Supporters say that that the revenue is needed to help fund all-day kindergarten and that visitors with sales taxes in their home states don’t mind paying Washington’s sales tax. Washington business groups oppose the move, saying it would discourage tourism. Oregon, Alaska and Montana are among the small number of states that do not have a sales tax. The current exemption only applies to visitors from those states.

We’ll find out where HB 2791 stands and check in on a number of other issues that Washington lawmakers have been dealing with in their short 2012 session.

Would a repeal of the Washington state sales-tax exemption change your visiting or buying habits? If you live in Washington, how do you think the state should fund all-day kindergarten? What other bills are you watching in the Washington legislature?

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