Local Politics

Wash. looks at eliminating oil refinery tax break

SEATTLE - Washington lawmakers are considering a plan that would eliminate an oil refinery tax break worth millions of dollars.

A state House committee heard testimony Thursday on a plan to narrow a tax exemption for extracted fuels and direct the new revenues to the state education system. The state projects the change would raise an extra $30 million a year for the state and another $10 million a year for local governments.

Democratic Rep. Reuven Carlyle says the tax break that was approved decades ago was not intended for the oil industry. He says the state should prioritize schools ahead of the oil industry.

Industry lobbyist Greg Hanon says oil companies paid over $260 million in Washington state taxes in 2011. He says the tax break seems to be a good return on investment for the state.