There’s no official word this morning on whether there are 50 “yes” votes in the House and 25 “yes” votes in the Senate for the tax deal reached by House and Senate negotiators.
Democratic leaders were counting votes to see if their new proposal – sales tax free – can bring them to those magic numbers that would get them out of Olympia.
Compared to earlier deals, it includes a larger increase in the B&O tax for businesses, new taxes on beer and soda pop (which exempt smaller brewers and bottlers) and, of course, no sales tax increase.
Some Democrats seem headed for reluctant votes in favor of the deal.
“I’m inclined to support it,” said Sen. Rosa Franklin of Tacoma, adding: “I don’t see any other way.”
Franklin was opposed to elements of both the Senate and House plans – the sales tax increase and a tax on banks’ mortgage earnings – that have been set aside. But she is favorable toward this plan, even though it keeps another idea she doesn’t like, a sales tax on candy that would hit hometown confectioner Brown & Haley. The plan tries to placate local candy companies by offering them a tax credit for their workers, a plus for Franklin.
Candy companies still “don’t like it, and grocers do not like it,” Franklin said. But “they’re not going to like anything, and … we’ve been there too long.”