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Candy maker: tax discriminates

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm | 3 Comments »
February 17, 2010 4:49 pm

People with a sweet tooth take a hit under Gov. Chris Gregoire’s tax proposals.

Applying the sales tax to candy and gum would raise $28 million, Gregoire’s office says, a fraction of the $605 million she wants to raise in total.

There’s also $94 million in revenue from slapping a 5 cent tax on a 12-ounce can of any carbonated beverage. Another $8 million would come from repealing a tax credit for pop syrup.

Gregoire told reporters she picked items to tax that represent discretionary spending by consumers, from cigarettes to bottled water to candy.

Candy’s not the only food that people can choose to skip, Brown & Haley CEO Pierson Clair pointed out. The Tacoma-based confectioner opposes the candy tax.

“You don’t have to buy potato chips, do you?” Clair said today. “Do you have to buy peanuts? Do you have to buy cheese? I mean, it goes on and on.”

“When you start abusing one industry, I think that industry feels not welcome in the state of Washington.”

Gregoire said she needed to find some way to patch a $2.8 billion shortfall, and someone would be unhappy no matter what she proposed.

“I don’t belive the economic recovery of the state of Washington relies on cigarettes, candy, gum, bottled water and pop,” she said. “I don’t.”

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