Wash. House Dems detail $760M tax plan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. House Dems detail $760M tax plan

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    Gov. Chris Gregoire doesn't like the Senate Democrats approach of raising the sales taxGov. Chris Gregoire doesn't like the Senate Democrats approach of raising the sales tax
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    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.>>
    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.>>

OLYMPIA, Wash. - State House Democrats want to raise about $760 million in taxes by closing a long list of exemptions and collecting more money from smokers, banks, lawyers and accountants.
     
It's the latest of three competing tax proposals floated by state leaders as they try to balance a $2.8 billion budget deficit.
     
The House's five-part plan is heavy on closing tax exemptions. That includes sales tax exemptions on bottled water, candy and gum and custom software.
     
Gov. Chris Gregoire and Senate Democrats have already put different tax plans on the table. The House, Senate and governor will now have to hammer out an agreement.
     
There's only 11 days left in this year's legislative session. If they can't reach agreement in time, lawmakers may have to work beyond the limit.

Related Coverage
Wash. governor approves suspension of anti-tax law

(February 24, 2010)

Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a measure that will temporarily suspend the tax-limiting constraints placed on lawmakers by voter-approved Initiative 960.
     
Gregoire signed the bill Wednesday afternoon, just days after the Legislature approved the measure. The bill spurred two weeks of heated debate in both the House and Senate.
     
I-960 made it harder for lawmakers to raise taxes or to close tax exemptions, which is why the Democratic majority wanted it suspended.
     
Budget writers want a mix of spending cuts, tax increases and one-time fixes to fill a $2.8 billion deficit. But I-960, approved in 2007, required two-thirds approval from legislators to raise taxes, a significant hurdle compared with the simple majority needed to pass other measures.

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