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Sat., March 6, 2010, 2:32 p.m.

WA Lege Day 55: Tax debate over bottled water

OLYMPIA -- Republicans try to strip out a provision that puts the state sales tax on bottled water.

Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, says previous debates have been "pretty esoteric" about things "that really don't direct the lives of individuals. This one does."
"Here is a $30 million tax," Carrell said. "We should not be balancing the budget on the needs of babies, children, parents, grandparents. A direct tax on something that is now part of our culture."

Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, counters this is not a new tax. Prior to 2005 "we had sales tax on bottled water. We have billions of bottles that go in our landfills every year."

Republican Sen. Curtis King replies: "This may not be a new idea. That doesn't mean it's a better idea."

The bill covers 5-gallon containers in dispensers, but has an exemption for people who do not have potable water.

Amendment fails 19-26.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.