Prior to the 2005 election, the state legislature in Washington increased gas taxes in the state to pay for roads. The voters in the November 2005 election backed their elected officials decision. Now, the state legislature has reinstated a state estate tax, similar in many respects to the federal system.
Estate tax repeal advocates thought they would secure uniformity and end the estate tax by repealing the federal version. But, their move to end the state tax credit under the federal estate tax, which had given states a cut of the federal estate tax, thereby establishing an nearly uniform national estate tax syste, has caused states to enact non-uniform estate taxes to make up for the lost revenues (they have to balance their budgets every year, unlike the federal government). As a result, state estate taxes, like Washington State's, now take a bigger bite than they used to, and there are a great many varied state estate taxes, greatly increasing planning complexity, both for retirees thinking about where they would like to retire and for professionals trying to understand the estate tax in their own state (which doesn't receive the careful professional scrutiny that federal taxes do).