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Proposed liquor tax hike may be first to require two-thirds majority by the Senate and maybe a public advisory vote this fall

Post by Joe Turner on Feb. 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm with No Comments »
February 28, 2008 1:42 pm

The Senate is back in session and is likely to consider a tax increase bill.

Senate Bill 6931 would raise the state liquor tax by 42 cents a liter to raise money for the Washington State Patrol and the Department of Social and Health Services.

Each of them would get about $6 million a year, the State Patrol to go catch drunks and DSHS to provide treatment to drunks and drug users.

If I’m reading Initiative 960 correctly, the Senate will have to pass this bill by a two-thirds vote. And since the bill does not say the tax increase will be referred to voters this fall for a binding vote, the bill might be on the November ballot anyway for an advisory vote.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with Tim Eyman. He says the bill definitely would require a public advisory vote. He also pointed out the state Attorney General is the one who makes the decision on whether an advisory vote is require.

SECOND UPDATE: It looks as if the liquor tax bill won’t come up until tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.

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