Senate approves estate-tax fix in midnight vote

SEATTLE -- The Washington state Senate passed an estate-tax "fix" late Thursday night, hours before the state was slated to send out millions of dollars in refunds to about 70 families.

The bill was in response to a state Department of Revenue decision and state Supreme Court ruling that required the state to doll out $160 million beginning on Friday to as many as 70 families. A recent decision by the state court said estate tax did not apply to couples who had a certain type of trust in their estate planning, but that the state had collected estate-tax from those couples.

The bill closed that trust exemption.

The Senate approved the measure by a 30-19 vote before midnight, and Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law early Friday morning. The state House had approved the bill earlier in the day.

According to Pubilcola, some Senate Republicans voiced concerned that the law would take effect retroactively.