Campaign to repeal state’s capital gains tax raises nearly twice as much as its opponents

If approved, I-1929 would repeal the capital gains tax passed in 2021

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Supporters of a proposed initiative to repeal the Washington capital gains tax have raised nearly double the amount that those against a repeal have raised.

Initiative 1929 is a proposed initiative to repeal the capital gains tax on high-profit stocks, bonds and other assets.

The pro-repeal group has raised more than $700,000, the fifth most of any state political action committee in this election cycle.

Donors include Brian Heywood and Steve Gordon, former gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant, and Mary Kay McCaw, wife of late billionaire Keith McCaw, among others.

The campaign against repealing the capital gains tax is calling I-1929 “a tax cut for the super rich” that would give the wealthiest 0.2% of Washingtonians a huge tax cut at the expense of the state’s schools.

So far, the No Tax Cut for the Super Rich ballot committee has raised about $360,000, a little more than half what the pro-repeal group has raised.

The most recognizable donor is Nick Hanauer’s Civic Ventures firm, but also includes money from labor groups and the Washington Education Association, which represents educators across the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed the 7% tax on capital gains over $250,000 in May 2021. The law contains exemptions for retirement accounts, real estate and some agricultural and small businesses.

It took effect Jan. 1, and was projected to generate $415 million for early learning and child care programs in 2023, the first year of collections.

However, in March of this year, a judge overturned the tax, ruling that it is an unconstitutional tax on income. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is appealing the decision in the state Supreme Court.