This just in from the House Republican Communications Office in Olympia....
Governor Gregoire signed a bill today that will relieve military personnel serving in active combat areas of interest and penalties on their delinquent excise tax payments. Rep. Jaime Herrera, lead sponsor of House Bill 3283, accompanied the governor at the bill-signing.
“The men and women of our armed services put their lives on the line for us around the world. I think it is our responsibility to ease their burdens here at home. My bill will give business owners who are called into active duty combat one less thing to worry about,” said Herrera, R-Ridgefield. “I appreciate the bipartisan support my legislation has received throughout the process. I also want to thank the people who shared their personal stories that brought this bill to life and showed why it is needed.”
Testifying in favor of House Bill 3283 during a committee hearing in Olympia last month was Lt. Col. John Perry from Battle Ground. He is a small-business owner and a reservist called to active duty in 2004. Herrera also testified in favor of the bill.
Under current law, the state waives interest and penalties on delinquent property taxes for military personnel stationed in active combat areas. House Bill 3283 extends the same protections for business excise tax.
The state Department of Revenue currently charges interest on unpaid excise tax. It can also assess a 5 percent penalty on unpaid tax for tax returns filed late. This penalty can increase to 25 percent if taxes are unpaid for more than two months.
The 2008 legislative session concluded March 13.