Wash. deficit ticks up to $2.8B on court case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. deficit ticks up to $2.8B on court case

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    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire says higher taxes will be needed to pay for health care, education and welfare programs as the state tries to climb out of the long recession.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire says higher taxes will be needed to pay for health care, education and welfare programs as the state tries to climb out of the long recession. Gregoire is presenting her plan for bridging the state's new $2.6 billion budget deficit Wednesday. By law, she has to balance the budget using only existing revenue streams. Gregoire plans to ask the Legislature for tax increases early next year.>>

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A court case that extended tax breaks to out-of-state companies has pushed Washington's state budget deficit to about $2.8 billion.
     
But there's finally some positive news from the state's Revenue Forecast Council, which tells state legislators how much money they have to spend.
     
Without that court loss, the state would actually have more tax money than previously expected.
     
Lawmakers are more than halfway through their scheduled 60-day session, which is focused on closing the budget deficit. Democratic leaders say they'll do it with a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes.
     
Gov. Chris Gregoire and lawmakers are expected to start announcing their plans for possible tax increases next week.

Washington Senate OKs suspension of Initiative 960

The Washington state Senate worked late last night to suspend a voter- approved initiative to limit taxes.
     
The move will make it easier for the Legislature to raise the taxes lawmakers say they need to close a now closer to $2.8 billion budget gap.
     
The 26-22 vote came a day after majority Democrats said they accidentally passed the wrong version of the bill. The measure now heads to the House, where a public hearing has been scheduled for Saturday morning.
     
Voters passed Initiative 960 in 2007 to require that two-thirds of the Legislature approve any tax increase.
     
With the measure suspended, lawmakers will be able to raise taxes with a simple majority vote.

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