The state took a gamble with some of your money and now says that it paid off.
As a practical matter, it probably did pay off, but you may want to make up your own mind about that.
Here's what happened: The state offered "amnesty" to businesses that owed back taxes. If they would pay off the principal, the state would forgive penalties and interest that had accumulated with the debt.
Any money owed the state, through principal, interest or fines is, in fact, ours. We, the taxpayers, are the ones holding the bag on these debts.
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As a rule of thumb, the principal would amount to about 75 percent of the total obligation and fines and interest would come to 25 percent.
The state estimated that the amnesty program would bring in about $24 million for the state treasury, and about $4 million for local governments.
The Herald editorial board more or less supported the idea of the amnesty program and encouraged those with an outstanding tax liability to get on board.
It turns out the state's expectations were low.
The Department of Revenue says the program collected $320.7 million in state and local back taxes during the three-month amnesty period that ended April 30.
That's $263.4 million in general fund taxes, $500,000 in other state taxes and $56.8 million in local taxes.
Cities, counties and other taxing districts will have their share of the local taxes returned to them. The rest will go to help close the gap in the state budget.
The state's budget crisis is the reason for the amnesty program.
Here's how the Department of Revenue answers the No. 1 amnesty question -- why?
"Washington state is facing significant budget challenges. We need to take steps to bring in as much tax revenue as possible during the remainder of this fiscal year. At the same time, businesses are struggling to keep afloat. Through this program, we can relieve some of the burden on businesses while bringing money in to the state sooner.
"This program also encourages unregistered businesses to register and begin paying their taxes without the burden of penalties and interest."
So, although the state and other government agencies received 75 percent (the state's own estimate) of what was owed, we missed out on about $107 million more owed to us.
State officials, including the governor, are taking victory laps for the money brought in to shore up the $5 billion state shortfall.
We buy into the concept that this approaches the concept of "found money" for the state and the local jurisdictions.
We accept the state's verdict, also, that in this difficult economy, a lot of small businesses struggling to survive were probably helped to no end by amnesty.
But the word amnesty itself is a touchy one in American politics these days.
Make of this gamble what you will.