You could say, in some ways, the pride of the Washington congressional delegation in recent decades has been specific inclusion of provisions that allow residents of the state to deduct sales tax costs from their federal income tax payments, the way income tax tax payments are deducted in most other states.
It makes some rational sense, since there's no income tax in Washington. But it requires a little extra effort and cooperation with other states to get it done. And it matters considerably: In 2009, about 850,000 taxpayers in Washington claimed $1.8 billion through the deduction.
But it has to be regularly re-upped. Will it continue this year, in a time of such extreme conflict over tax provisions?
No one knows right now. A statement out today from Representative Jim McDermott: "As Congress moves closer to adjourning for the year, it has yet to pass critical legislation that affects millions of Washington state residents – extending the state and local sales tax deduction. Today, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) called on the leaders of Ways and Means Committee – the tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives – to include an extension of this deduction in any tax package that is considered in the remaining days of the congressional calendar."