New data from the Census Bureau shows Washington's state-local tax burden has dropped again.
It's hard to be more succinct than Chris Mulick in his blog for the Tri-Cities Herald, so I won't try.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau Washington slipped in two rankings of how much each states' taxpayers pay in state and local taxes. Washington fell from 29th to 37th in terms of how much of taxpayers' income went to state and local taxes, falling to an average of $105.91 per $1,000 of income. In other words, taxpayers in 36 other states paid more.
Listed another way, Washington fell from 18th to 21st in state and local taxes paid per capita. Though still in the top half of highest taxed states the $3,651 paid per capita was still below the $3,698 national average.
The governor's office thought the news warranted a press release but for some reason didn't make it the headline. Instead she leads with a bit on the elimination of 1,000 middle-management jobs.
Here's the Department of Revenue report providing detail and context.
As Mulick suggests, folks will make of this what they will. A strong economy, minimal general tax hikes, and property tax limits work together to drive down the overall burden. How the burden is distributed matters a lot. From a competitiveness standpoint, I think the business share of the burden is important.
This report from the Council on State Taxation (COST) finds that Washington businesses pay 53 percent of all state and local taxes. So, even with that decline in overall taxes, Washington businesses continue to pay an extraordinary share of the tab.