Spin Control

Lege Rs: Democrats plans will cost jobs

OLYMPIA -- House and Senate Republican leaders denounced budgets proposals from the other party for raising taxes that will touch everyone and hurt small businesses.

Sen. Joe Zarelli, of Ridgefield, the GOP's top numbers guy in the Legislature, said the wide array of potential tax increases would hit car buyers and home buyers, both of which are needed to fuel the recovery.

They would create imbalances for communities that border another state, encouraging people to drive across state lines to buy gasoline, candy, soda or bottled water, and discourage out of state residents from shopping in Washington, he said during a sit-down session GOP leaders had with the  news media.

That's a conglomeration of tax proposals from Gov. Chris Gregoire and Senate Democrats. The two proposals differ significantly in which taxes they'd raise or institute in an attempt to balance some program cuts with new sources of money. As of noon, the House had yet to announce a tax package to explain how it would raise an extra $857 million.

Rep. Gary Alexander, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee wondered how the panel will hold hearings on a budget that doesn't spell out taxes. "We don't even know what the "Means" are."




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