Effective immediately, grants to boost the state’s salmon population are exempt from sales and B&O taxes.

Senate Bill 5220, which took effect upon being signed today by the governor, codifies that nonprofits do not need to pay sales-and-use tax on grants for salmon recovery and extends the business-and-occupation tax deduction to grants nonprofits receive from Tribal governments.

“This will make sure every penny provided for salmon recovery is actually used for salmon recovery,” said Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, (D-Sequim), the bill’s sponsor. “It will mean more and healthier fish, more and better jobs, healthier and happier orcas, more plentiful fishing, and more tourist dollars from recreational fishing.”

Van De Wege’s legislation came in response to a recent state Revenue Department determination that the retail sales tax exemption did not apply to grants from federal, state, Tribal and local governments, and that the B&O tax exemption also did not apply to these projects.

“This update to our state tax code ensures that these vital projects, which have not been taxed in the past, will not be taxed in the future,” Van De Wege said. “Every cent of public funding will continue to go to salmon recovery.”

The bill has an emergency clause and took effect immediately upon being signed into law by the governor.