Little and Wasden applaud delay of Washington’s plan to unfairly tax Idahoans

Friday January 28, 2022

(Boise) – Idaho Governor Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are applauding a development in the Washington legislature this week as a positive for Idahoans affected by a planned payroll tax in Washington.

The Washington Legislature just approved a delay of the implementation of a payroll tax that would have unfairly taxed Idahoans working in the State of Washington for a benefit they could not receive.

The delay comes after the Governor’s Office, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, and the Idaho Department of Insurance advocated for North Idaho citizens working in Washington.

“We heard from citizens in North Idaho about Washington’s ill-advised plans to unfairly tax Idahoans. We responded and engaged with our counterparts in the State of Washington, and the delay of the state’s program is a positive outcome. We will keep the pressure on Washington to back off its misguided plan and resolve these issues the correct way,” Governor Little said.

“The state of Washington’s ability to tax its citizens and spend that money as its leaders see fit is not normally Idaho’s business,” Wasden said. “But I’m concerned with Washington taxing Idahoans to specifically pay for programs that will never benefit those Idahoans. The delay is welcome news and I’m hopeful Washington lawmakers will be able to fix the problem.”

The tax would pay for implementation of a long-term care program for Washington residents. The Idaho leaders’ concerns stem from the fact Idahoans who work in Washington would have to pay the tax without being eligible for the related program. Legal concerns prompted Wasden to write Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in November and ask that the state not implement the tax against Idaho residents.

The Governor’s Office and Idaho Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron contacted Washington officials to share similar concerns.

Legislation delaying the program passed both chambers of the Washington legislature by a combined vote of 137-9. It is expected to be signed by Governor Jay Inslee today. The delay would take effect immediately. Washington had planned to begin collecting the tax this month.

Wasden’s letter to Ferguson is available here.

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