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Gregoire won’t propose, but no longer opposes, tax hikes to lessen budget cuts

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Sep. 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm with 7 Comments »
September 29, 2009 2:27 pm

During a sit-down with statehouse reporters today, Gov. Chris Gregoire said she is willing to listen to proposals from the state’s hospitals and Legislative Democrats about taxes.

Unlike last session when Gregoire said she thought any tax hikes would lengthen and worsen the economic recession, the Democratic governor said that might not be the case now. That’s because state economist Arun Raha said the state – and nation – are pulling out of the recession.

Despite that glimmer of good news from Raha, tax collections are still down and the Legislature faces up to $1 billion in additional cuts when it meets in January. That’s to a $30 billion state budget and unlike last year there won’t be federal stimulus money to make it easier.

“It’s solely up to us,” she said.

Gregoire said she didn’t favor any tax hikes last session, “because I couldn’t figure out a way to do it without hurting the economy. But now I told (legislative) leadership to come make your case.”

Gregoire said another round of cuts will do further damage to social services, schools and higher education.

“At some point people will say they don’t want any more cuts,” Gregoire said.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. Palin2012 says:

    READ MY LIPS NO NEW TAXES!!

  2. colsprague says:

    She’s right, of course. The great iron is that when times are hard, the government needs to provide more, not fewer services. The wise way to do that would be to build up reserves in a true rainy day fund. But our politicians don’t seem to have the backbone to do that.

    The knee-jerk “no new taxes” crowd doesn’t help matters. Your marginal tax rate (the truest measure) has dropped significantly. But taxes are a necessary evil. We have to pay for things after all. What we need are well-thought out and targeted tax increases.

  3. tommy98466 says:

    Christine… why don’t you meet with Republicans and get some fresh ideas. Seems like meeting with the dems you only get the same answer. “LETS RAISE TAXES.” These come in the form of higher fees at the local auditors offices, hidden taxes on some food items, etc. How about making the tough decisions and not provide housing for the homeless and drunks, triming the bloated government payrolls, etc. Want some fresh ideas… contact me.

  4. colsprague says:

    Tommy — Let’s hear your ideas. And they need to be more specific than “trimming the bloated government payrolls, etc.” Which government payrolls do you want to cut specifically? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m genuinely interested.

    It seems like we all talk in generalities and complain about our political leaders. Well, let’s start getting specific. What homeless/drunk housing program are you talking about? Maybe then they will listen. I know I will!

  5. Good idea Tommy…I vote to move all the homeless and drunks to your neighborhood. Then it can be your problem.

    Olympia still needs to trim the WMS ranks by 50%. There are too many high paid managers. These folks get paid 2 to 3 times that of the on the ground state employees that actually do the work and provide the services to the public. Unfortunately when cuts are made to agencies, the WMS’ers are the ones that decide who goes and they protect themselves and their upper level cohorts.

  6. getALife996 says:

    “At some point people will say they don’t want any more cuts,” Gregoire said.

    I think that I can speak for many when I indicate that I would love to see few cuts, especially in areas such as education, but I’m still all for them analyzing other programs and possibly cutting from those (e.g., welfare abuse, etc.)

  7. DSHS is one of the largest drains on each FY Budget. Yet they continue to get more and more funding for failed programs. Its time to break up DSHS into smaller more controlled core agencies and trim the “fat” and “pork”. There are several non essential services that still remain and could easily be dissolved or absorbed into another agency at reduced cost. Nearly every state program has a duplicate counterpart in another agency because each agency wants to do it their own way. Even if it costs double.

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