OLYMPIA…A bill exempting behavioral health providers from a business tax increase enacted last year has passed the Legislature and is included in Washington’s 2020-21 supplemental budget.
Based on Senate Bill 6639, which was sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban, the bill creates an estimated $13.1 million tax exemption over four years. It is one of the largest tax cuts provided this year.
“We have a mental-health crisis in Washington. We should not be making it harder or more expensive for behavioral health organizations to care for those suffering from mental illness and substance use disorder.
“Access to care is undermined by higher taxes on providers because they struggle to recover those added costs. They end up turning away people on Medicaid, who are often at the highest risk of becoming homeless as a result of their condition. The effects of that reach further into the demand on other services as well.”