House Speaker gives sales tax increase good odds - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

House Speaker gives sales tax increase good odds

OLYMPIA, Wash. - House Speaker Frank Chopp says the odds are "better than 50-50" that voters will be asked approve a small statewide sales tax increase to reduce cuts to health and human services.

What's your take?

Would you vote in favor of a sales tax increase? Why or why not? What are your ideas for fighting the state deficit. Leave your comments at the bottom of the story and we may read them on KHQ Local News at 5 and 6.
On Thursday, Chopp said any sales tax proposal on the ballot will need to show voters what they're being asked to pay for.

The Seattle Democrat was lukewarm on the idea of an income tax on the state's highest earners, an idea that is being weighed by his Senate colleagues.

Democrats in the House and Senate have put forth cut-heavy budget proposals in their effort to fill a projected $9 billion deficit through mid-2011.

Under a voter-approved initiative, any tax increases have to go to the ballot.

Taxable retail sales decline

The state Department of Revenue says taxable retail sales in Washington declined to $27.7 billion in the fourth quarter, an 11 percent drop from the same period a year earlier.

One of the biggest drops was in motor vehicles and parts _ down 27 percent to $2.1 billion. Construction dropped 12 percent to $5.6 billion and accommodation and food services declined 5 percent to $2.5 billion.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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