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Tag: Taxes


AWK-ward: Gregoire has visitor looking over her shoulder at signing ceremony

In case you missed it, anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman made a surprise appearance at Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signing ceremony yesterday for the bill overturning Initiative 960 and allowing Democrats to raise taxes without going to the voters. Eyman inserted himself in the frame and goofed behind the governor during the event.

Here’s a snippet from TVW coverage (go here to see the full ceremony).

From the AP story:

Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman hovered behind Gregoire’s chair as she signed

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Morning update: Day 33

Good morning on Day 33 of the legislative session. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in Olympia:

  • State leaders will get a good idea of the scope of the budget problem facing the state when the latest revenue forecast comes in.  The projection of money coming into the state through June 30, 2011, will help bean counters resize a budget shortfall that now stands at $2.7 billion.
  • The Olympian’s Brad Shannon has the details on a sales tax increase proposed by Rep. Dennis Flannigan of Tacoma to help deal with that shortfall.  The 1-penny tax would be

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New parks and rec sales tax? Not any time soon

Pierce County officials want authority to ask voters to raise the sales tax on behalf of parks and trails, but the idea is probably headed nowhere for the second year in a row.

A bill awarding the authority to the county council missed a key deadline to advance.

“Legislators don’t like to pass a bill that includes a tax, even if they themselves don’t impose it,” said former Sumner Mayor Barbara Skinner, a member of the ForeverGreen Council that is pushing the tax. “This year is sort of like tending the garden, making sure it’s still alive.”

Supporters want

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Oregonians pass tax measures. Will Washington follow?

Are voters willing raise taxes amid a shaky recovery and still growing unemployment? Conventional wisdom might say “no,” but Oregon voters clearly said “yes” yesterday at the polls. (I mean “at the mailbox” because Oregon eliminated its polls years ago.) Two closely watched ballot measures are passing with comfortable margins: Ballot Measure 66, which raises taxes on households with incomes of more than $250,000, and Ballot Measure 67, which boosts corporate minimum taxes and tax rates on profits.

It’s worth noting that Oregonians are not historically a tax-happy bunch, and that their economy is generally in worst shape than Washington’s. As the Oregonian reported:

The double-barreled victory is the first voter-approved statewide income tax increase since the 1930s. Other states, facing similar budget woes, are watching the outcome closely because Oregon, after all, is a state that capped property taxes and locked a surplus tax rebate program into the constitution. The last time voters approved a tax increase was 2002, when they agreed to bump up tobacco taxes to help pay for the Oregon Health Plan. Voters rejected income tax increases twice in recent years.

But the measures passed with a full-court press from education and government employee groups, and amid fears of drastic cuts. It might have helped that these fell in the more palatable “tax hikes on the other guy” category – rich people and corporations.

Washington state lawmakers, who are considering various “revenue enhancements” to help fill their own budget gap, certainly are taking note of the Oregon vote. Gov. Chris Gregoire issued this statement:

“Oregon voters met the challenge of these difficult times and clearly said that schools, healthcare, public safety and other essential services cannot be forsaken. It is gratifying to see that the public understands the importance of preserving services to the most needy and providing education to the next generation – especially now when those efforts are most needed.”

Opponents of deep cuts in Washington were quick to point out the significance of the vote.

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Gov. Chris Gregoire will release her budget fix Wednesday morning

The day was pretty certain but the time was still unknown until now.

It’ll be 9 a.m. in her conference room in Olympia. Gov. Chris Gregoire and her budget staff has been trying to figure out how to solve the latest budget hole. This time it’s $2.6 billion from a $31.4 billion budget approved last April.

Gregoire has been easing away from her pledge last year not to raise general taxes – property, sales and business & occupation. And her staff has released several statements showing cuts already made and the cuts that would be needed if no tax hikes

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

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

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