(360) 786-7667|Joe.Nguyen@leg.wa.gov

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    Senate passes real estate excise tax reform, reducing rates for majority of Washingtonians

Senate passes real estate excise tax reform, reducing rates for majority of Washingtonians

Eighty percent of Washingtonians would receive a tax cut on the sale of real estate thanks to legislation passed Thursday by the state Senate. Senate Bill 5998 would reform real estate excise taxes (REET) to a graduated scale, in which property sales under $500,000 are reduced to a 1.1 percent rate while the highest tier of properties, those sold for more than $3 million, would be taxed at three percent.

Anyone who sells a house for less than $1.5 million would receive a tax cut on that sale.

“You’ve heard it a million times before: Washington state’s tax code is completely upside down, favoring those at the top end while punishing those struggling to get by,” said bill sponsor Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center). “With this legislation, we are taking a major step toward fixing our broken tax code. The simple truth is that no one selling a property for $3 million is struggling to make ends meet.”

The current rate on Washington’s REET is a flat 1.28 percent. The new graduated rates would bring in an additional $600 million dollars over the next four years, all of which would be dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust Account.

“Making our tax code fairer while dedicating additional funds to education are mutually attainable goals that we achieve through this bill,” said Nguyen. “Only about two-percent of sellers, the wealthiest among us, would see their taxes increased. It’s time we ask those wealthy few to pay their fair share to build a Washington that works for all.”

The graduated REET scale under SB 5998 would implement the following:

  • 1.1-percent if the selling price is equal to or less than $500,000
  • 1.28-percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $500,000 but equal to or less than $1,500,000
  • 2.75-percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than the $1,500,000 but equal to or less than $3,000,000
  • 3-percent on the portion of the selling price that is greater than $3,000,000

SB 5998 passed the Senate on a vote of 26-22 and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

April 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Prepaid postage on ballots passes Senate

The Washington State Senate voted today to increase access to democracy by requiring prepaid postage for ballot envelopes during all elections. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Senate Bill 5063 is the latest effort to eliminate barriers to participation in Washington elections.

“This bill is a huge step forward in making Washington elections fairer and more accessible for everyone in the state,” said Nguyen. “For most people, the idea that you would have to pay to return your ballot, even if that only means a stamp, just doesn’t sit right. Passing this legislation removes that question and brings everyone to the table.”

While both ballot drop boxes and prepaid postage are crucial to voter participation, an analysis by the King County Elections department found that more voters took advantage of prepaid postage in 2018. The digital age has dramatically reduced, and even eliminated, the need for postage stamps for many Washingtonians.

By removing this barrier to democracy, prepaid postage will allow everyone an equal and easy means of submitting their vote by Election Day.

Washington authorized prepaid postage on a one time basis for the 2018 midterm elections and Nguyen is optimistic that expanding the practice statewide on a permanent basis will increase participation

“I think we are stronger as individuals and communities when we all have access to voting and are a part of the process,” Nguyen said. “I also want to thank Sen. Bob Hasegawa for his years championing this legislation. We could not have accomplished this without his leadership and vision.”

Having passed the Senate on a 42-3 vote, the bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.  

March 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Nguyen sworn in, will bring new perspectives to Senate

Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) was sworn in today to serve Washington’s 34th Legislative District, which includes West Seattle, White Center, Vashon Island and parts of Burien.

As the Senate’s first member of Vietnamese descent and part of a wave of new millennial leadership, Nguyen is intent on elevating voices and ideas that have, in the past, been left out of the conversation.

“The constituents of the 34th district sent me to Olympia because we have grown weary of seeing our families, our communities, and our fellow Washingtonians left out or left behind despite the strength of our state’s economy,” said Nguyen. “My constituents are working harder and for longer hours just to get by, so I will be working just as hard to ensure their vision for an inclusive and just Washington becomes a reality.”

Nguyen was selected by his colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus to serve as Vice Chair of the Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee and as a member of the Energy, Environment & Technology, Transportation, and Rules committees. He will bring expertise as a job trainer in the tech sector, as a community advocate for individuals experiencing homelessness, and as a father of two young children, to help guide policy making toward compassion and accountability.

“We’re going to push the difficult conversations and work tirelessly, because that is what our political moment requires,” said Nguyen.  “Washington is changing. It’s time for our government to do the same.”

Sen. Nguyen can be reached by phone at 360-786-7667 or by email at joe.nguyen@leg.wa.gov.

January 14th, 2019|Uncategorized|