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Hunter says he’s stripping out council-only vote for taxes

Post by News Tribune Staff on Feb. 28, 2009 at 6:41 pm with No Comments »
February 28, 2009 6:41 pm

The House Finance Committee will be meeting Monday to wrap up the first round of its work and its chairman, Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said he’s going to make a big change before his committee votes on bills to let King, Pierce and other counties raise money from a local option sales tax.

Right now, the law says there must be a public vote on the 0.3 percent sales tax increase for public safety stuff. House Bill 1147 and HB 2249 would have let counties raise that tax with only a vote by the county council or county commissioners.

Hunter told me Friday he’s going to restore the language requiring a public vote. The counties and cities want greater flexibility in how they spend that money, as well as the 0.1 percent sales tax for mental health services. Pierce County has neither, yet.

I don’t know what’s happening to the Senate version of the bills, one of which is sponsored by Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma.

Here’s my post from earlier this week.

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