Wash. Senate offers new tax-hike package - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wash. Senate offers new tax-hike package

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Senate Democrats have endorsed a new offer on tax hikes, hoping to move the Legislature's budget negotiations forward.

The bottom line on the tax package is about $800 million. That's the target that Senate and House Democrats are assuming in this year's budget overhaul.

The new Senate revenue proposal has a smaller sales-tax increase than before,  two-tenths of a penny, instead of three-tenths. It also gives a break on business-tax increases for real estate agents, scientific research, and nonprofit public hospitals.

A tax on bottled water would be collected sooner, and a tax rebate for working families would be delayed until 2012.

It's unclear if the Senate offer can get much support from the House, or Gov. Chris Gregoire. They're both generally opposed to a sales tax increase.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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