‘Fiscal cliff’ deal protects Washington sales-tax break

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OLYMPIA (AP) — U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell says the “fiscal-cliff” tax bill that passed the Senate and the House on Tuesday includes the sales-tax deduction for taxpayers in Washington and a half-dozen other states.

Cantwell told The Olympian (http://is.gd/6QWXrB ) the sale-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 says the deal should help about 850,000 taxpayers who itemize their income tax returns 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.