Editorial: What’s in a tax break? Washingtonians should know

Imagine if your employer refused to say what’s being deducted from your paycheck, or your bank declined to reveal what’s automatically withdrawn from your account.

That’s the situation for Washingtonians trying to figure how much state revenue is given up through myriad tax breaks.

Some of these tax breaks are important for economic development. But the public and lawmakers must know their costs to decide if they’re worthwhile investments. 

More transparency and accountability around such tax preferences was promised in 2013 when state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, pushed through a disclosure law, requiring annual reporting on the value of large, new tax preferences. Continue…