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Smith, Baird break ranks on tax vote

Post by lesblumenthal on Dec. 17, 2010 at 10:35 am |
December 17, 2010 10:36 am

President Barack Obama was expected to sign an $858 billion tax bill this afternoon that will allow Washington state residents to deduct the state sales tax they paid on their 2010 and 2011 returns.

The House gave final approval to the compromise bill in the wee overnight hours Thursday after the Senate had approved it earlier in the week.

Even though the measure included the sales tax deduction, four Washington state representatives, Adam Smith, Brian Baird, Jay Inslee and Jim McDermott voted against it.

The rest of the state’s congressional delegation supported the measure.

“This compromise package isn’t perfect; compromise rarely is,” said Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn. “But perfection shouldn’t be a barrier to doing what’s practical, necessary and right – especially in these difficult times.”

The sales tax deduction seems to get renewed annually just as Congress prepares to adjourn and this year was no exception.

The deduction saves Washington state’s roughly 1 million taxpayers between $350 million and $500 million. By some estimates, the deduction puts an average of $600 in the pockets of the each of the state’s taxpayers annually.

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