Posted April 09, 2019 06:10:20A Washington state lawmaker who is pushing for a new statewide measure that would allow the state to levy a property tax on people who rent or buy homes with electricity and a cellphone could lose his job if the measure becomes law.
State Sen. Chris Larson, D-Powell, filed the measure Thursday, the first day of the legislative session.
The state would levy the tax on residential and commercial property owners with more than one meter of electricity and cellular service.
If passed, the bill would be the first statewide property tax levied by a statewide statewide body, and it would go into effect after a year.
Larson has said the measure is needed to help pay for new programs in the state, including $1 billion in long-term care services for residents.
The measure would also create a state-wide program to encourage more people to rent homes with power, cellphone and Internet.
A spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Revenue said Larson’s proposal would not be considered.
Larsen, a Democrat who represents a rural district, said the bill was “a necessary step to improve health and safety, save money, and provide an opportunity for the people of the state of Washington to earn a living.”
He said he hopes the measure will be passed in the next legislative session, though he doesn’t expect it will become law by then.
The Legislature passed the measure in February, with bipartisan support.
But Republican Gov.
Jay Inslee has said it would be a waste of money to levy the state’s first statewide electric property tax.
Inslee and other lawmakers have said they are not willing to raise property taxes in response to climate change, even though the cost of climate change has increased.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.