by David Ammons | May 4th, 2011
Glum Washington lawmakers, last seen slogging through House-Senate budget talks, have just gotten a jolt of good news — a $182 million windfall. Governor Gregoire and the budget negotiators say that could go a long ways toward finding a budget solution and wrapping up the special session on time.
The surprise was in the form of a gusher of unexpected tax receipts generated through a three-month “tax amnesty” that Gregoire and the Legislature authorized. Companies have been allowed to pay overdue tax bills without penalty and some have settled their tax disputes with the state, rather than continue appeals.
Bottom line: The actual tax collections amounted to $321 million for state and local coffers. The state share, $263 million, was $182 million more than the Legislature had counted on. Revenue chief Suzan DelBene said nearly 9,000 businesses responded, including hundreds that weren’t even on the tax rolls.
This is the second week of a 30-day special session.