Eye On Olympia

Hell freezes over: SEIU and Evergreen Freedom Foundation hold hands...

It's not often that the Service Employees International Union 775 and the conservative Evergreen Freedom Foundation sing in harmony in Olympia. SEIU's arguably the fiestiest union in the capital, and EFF's probably the second-fiestiest conservative group. (First place, of course, would have to go to the Building Industry Association of Washington.)

But the two groups are jointly calling for a moratorium on new or expanded tax breaks. They also want lawmakers to scrutinize tax breaks -- including current ones -- with the same microscope that gets turned on new spending.

"Until the Legislature gets its house in order and ensures real accountability for these tax loopholes, we need to stop throwing away our tax dollars," said David Rolf, president of SEIU 775.

"Government should not distinguish between employers based on the power of their lobbyists to secure preferential treatment," said EFF's Jason Mercier.

Lawmakers are considering tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks this year, including ones for dry fertilizer, film production, milk and aluminum smelters, among others.

Among those trying to dump water on more tax breaks: Gov. Chris Gregoire.

"A tax break is spending money," she said Monday morning. "At the end of the day, we have less revenue, no matter how you cut it."

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