Wash. Senate leader suggests income tax referendum - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. Senate leader suggests income tax referendum

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown wants voters to weigh in on the idea of an income tax on high earners.
     
In a blog posting on Thursday, Brown suggested that the Legislature pass the Senate Democrats' temporary sales tax increase proposal and that it take effect immediately. But, under her plan, a referendum would be added to the measure.
     
Under the referendum, voters in November would decide whether to repeal the three-tenths of a cent increase and additionally lower it to 6 cents, and in its place, approve a "high earners" income tax.
     
The tax would be on 4.5 percent on all income over $200,000 for individuals, $300,000 for heads of households, and $400,000 for married couples.
     
A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Related Coverage
Wash. House Dems detail $760M tax plan

(March 1, 2010)

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.

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