Lawyers, accountants and marketing specialists would see their taxes go up. So would airplane owners, anyone buying customized software.
Out-of-state shoppers would pay the same sales tax as
Those are some of the ways the chairman of the House Finance Committee, Ross Hunter, D-Bellevue, proposed Monday to raise an extra $758 million in taxes through June 2011 to help with the state’s $2.8 billion budget hole. The rest of the estimated shortfall would have to be covered with budget cuts, federal money and shifting money from other accounts.
Like Gov. Chris Gregoire and Senate Democrats, who previously released budgets that contain a mixture of taxes increase, program cuts and federal money, (click to see comparison of all three)Hunter called it a balanced approach. But all three strike the balance differently...
Some of the taxes are similar – cigarette smokers get hit
hard in all three plans, as do out-of-state companies that do business in
Hunter said he needed the last week to put together a plan that reached consensus among House Democrats, who have nearly a two-thirds majority in that chamber. He said he was close to having the simple majority needed to pass the plan.
“I can’t tell you I’ve got exactly 50 today,” he said when he presented the plan at noon Monday.
Senate Democrats passed a spending plan on Saturday with the bare minimum they needed – 25 votes – but don’t yet have that many votes for their tax plan.
Republicans in both chambers say they’re opposed to tax increases until the state cuts spending and reforms operations.
“My struggle with all three of these budgets is, raising taxes ought to be the last option, and instead it was the first,” said Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, a member of the Finance Committee, which will hold a hearing on the House tax plan Tuesday morning. “It does not foster job growth. Historically, it is jobs that bring us out of a recession.”
Hunter’s proposal could hit businesses in
The question now is what parts of each proposal will be blended into an overall plan that can pass the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on March 11.
Gregoire said Monday she prefers the House approach on taxes, which like hers raises smaller amounts from a longer list, but likes the spending proposals in the Senate. She opposes a general sales tax increase, saying it would be especially hard on the recovering construction industry, but stopped short of threatening a veto.