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WA Lege Day 55: Tax debate on the sales tax

OLYMPIA — This is the biggie, the three-tenths of 1 percent increase in the sales tax for the next three years.

Sen. Janea Holmquist, R-Moses Lake, says Democrats are always saying the sales tax is the most regressive, and yet they want to raise its. She also doubts it will be temporary: “I’d love to see a show of hands on who believes that. I’ve never seen a temporary tax.”

Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane: This is temporary and I do believe it’s temporary. It’s small, 30 cents if you spend $100.” It also expands the workingn families credit for low income families, so most of them will be better off.

It’s also the general public’s contribution to “more state patrol on the roads, more public services. Those essential public structures…to improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville: “I don’t look at this as contributions. These are taxes that employers will be paying, that make it more difficult to raise salaries or benefits or hires. I’d call it the Idaho Economic Development Act. Three-tenths of a cent is real money when you’re buying construction equipment, when you’re buying farm equipment.”

Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley: “It isn’t just a third of a cent, it’s another third of a cent.”

Holmquist amendment to drop the sales tax increase fails on a voice vote.

An amendment to raise the sales tax by a full percent is withdrawn.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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