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Thu., April 8, 2010, 1:26 p.m.

Tax deal not yet out, but opponents are

OLYMPIA -- Democratic legislative leaders have not yet formally announced their "go home" tax deal, apparently because the House caucus isn't yet sure it has the necessary yes votes.

But while opposition to certain taxes is already cranking up.

The Washington  Beverage Association said raising the tax on soda by 2 cents for every 12 ounce serving "will result in job losses and could put local companies out of business.

The Northwest Grocery Association, which is the large grocery and supermarket group, said it opposes "hidden" taxes on candy, gum, bottled water, beer and cigarettes, and thinks a general sales tax that affects everyone would be better, if taxes need to be raised at all. At least with a general sales tax in crease, consumers would see the tax on their sales receipts every time they shop and know they are paying more for state programs, association president Joe Gilliam said.

The tax proposal, which hasn't been released yet, allegedly does away with any plans to bump up the sales tax, instead placing taxes on the above mentioned items, increasing the business and occupation tax on services from 1.5 percent of gross receipts to 1.8 percent and enacts other hikes from a "menu" of tax choices.

Still no word on when Democratic legislative leaders -- they're the only ones involved in negotiations; Republicans have said they won't vote for a tax increase -- will make public the plan that they are explaining to their members.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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