Fiscal cliff: Cantwell says tax deduction is safe; Crapo, Risch say deal is a win for Idaho

Washington U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell says the “fiscal-cliff” tax bill that passed the Senate includes the sales-tax deduction for taxpayers in Washington and a half-dozen other states.

Cantwell told The Olympian the sales-tax break has been a top priority. The “fiscal-cliff” bill protects Washington taxpayers for their 2012 and 2013 returns. The deduction helps taxpayers who cannot deduct state income taxes because their state doesn’t tax income.

Cantwell said the deal should help about 850,000 taxpayers who itemize their income tax returns by about $500 on average. The tax break has previously been estimated to have a value of up to $500 million a year to Washington taxpayers.

Meanwhile, Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch say the deal that would avert much of the impact of the so-called fiscal cliff is a victory for working Idaho residents.

The two Republicans released a joint statement Tuesday, shortly after they both voted on the bipartisan compromise legislation.

Crapo and Risch said the compromise protects 99 percent of Idaho residents and most farm families from a tax increase, but they cautioned that lawmakers must now work aggressively to find appropriate spending cuts.  (AP)

About Jason Ford