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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: Jeff Chapman

How much would you get?

This is an idea that legislative advocates should have had weeks ago: The folks at the private Washington State Budget and Policy Center have put together a handy online calculator to estimate how much a person would receive if the state working families tax rebate becomes reality.

The rebate is a key part of a proposed third-of-a-cent state sales tax increase. To offset the impact for low-income families, many Democrats are insisting on a rebate. It would be patterned on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. If you get that, you’d get an extra 5 percent from the state.

Writes the policy center’s Jeff Chapman:

For example, a married couple with two kids and $20,000 in wages would receive $251 dollars. A single parent with one child would receive $152. The minimum credit for those who are eligible is $25.

The sales tax plan, which would steer hundreds of millions of dollars into hospitals, nursing homes and other health services if voters agree, is struggling to find support in the House in the final days of the legislative session. Republicans and some conservative Democrats argue that in a consumer-driven recession, it’s unwise to increase taxes.

Lunchtime reading for you…

What we’re reading:

-This analysis, by a private think tank called the Washington State Budget and Policy Center, of the differences between House Democrats’ recent cost-cutting plan and a similar proposal from Gov. Chris Gregoire. Researcher Jeff Chapman concludes that the House would reduce the budget by $172 million more than the governor, largely because its plan ignores “maintenance level” changes like counting the 1,700 more students than expected who are enrolling in schools.

-This article in The New Yorker, detailing the views of the worst-case-scenario crowd. Among them: a Russian emigre who sold his Boston apartment and moved onto a sailboat, the better to flee (and trade commodities like apples) in the coming financial apocalypse. The story includes peak-oil folks, fans of gold bullion, Vermont secessionists and an upstate New York author who argues that postwar suburban sprawl will prove a massive national mistake.

-This post, by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Joel Connelly, who argues that the recent election of Spokane’s Sharon Smith as vice chair of the state Democratic Party “signals an increasing presence for Eastern Washington’s Democrats.”

Connelly doesn’t mention the fact that the previous vice chair, Eileen Macoll, lives in Pullman. But he points to two other big Democratic victories east of the Cascades recently: November’s victory for Okanogan’s Peter Goldmark as lands commissioner and, two years earlier, Sen. Chris Marr’s ousting a Republican in a largely suburban Spokane district.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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