Regional News

Gov signs bill to end Canadian sales tax exemption

By Associated Press
Mar 15, 2011

Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a bill to end a sales tax exemption for Canadian shoppers visiting Washington.

The bill is sponsored by Democrat Sen. Kevin Ranker of San Juan Island and aims to maintain revenue for stores in northern Washington, where visiting Canadian shoppers can contribute as much as 10 percent of the sales tax collected by retailers.

Last summer, British Columbia adopted a new value-added tax in place of its provincial sales tax. Currently, Washington grants an exemption to visitors from states or provinces with no comparable sales tax, so the change made British Columbian shoppers eligible for that exemption.

Supporters say the new law will ensure Canadian visitors pay their fair share for services.

Ranker's bill will go into effect July 1.

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