Wash. Senate passes $890 million tax package - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. Senate passes $890 million tax package

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state Senate last night approved a tax package that would raise $890 million over the next 16 months.
     
It includes a temporary three-tenths-of-a-cent sales tax increase plus increased taxes on services and bottled water. It also ends a sales tax break for some companies based outside Washington. On a separate vote the Senate voted to add an extra $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes.
     
Lawmakers are now waiting for the tax package from the House where leaders have not proposed a sales tax increase.
     
Then leaders will have to agree on a final revenue package to close a $2.8 billion budget gap as they try to wrap up the 60-day session by Thursday.

New
Wash. Legislature enters final days of session

As lawmakers enter the final stretch of the 60-day legislative session, majority Democrats are trying to negotiate how best to bridge a $2.8 billion budget deficit, a task that offers a fundamental political dilemma.
     
Try to cut too much spending on priorities such as education and health care, and not enough Democratic lawmakers will agree. Try to raise taxes enough to pay for all those priorities, and centrists worried about hurting the economy and provoking voter outrage will balk.
     
Three different plans have been introduced, but with time running out before Thursday's scheduled adjournment, House and Senate leaders and Gov. Chris Gregoire still need to reach a consensus.

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