Spin Control

Special Session 3.0: Senate passes tax bill

OLYMPIA -- A plan to end a tax exemption for large banks and extend tax breaks for some other businesses passed the Senate over objections from some of the chambers more conservative Republicans and more liberal Democrats.

The bill, which removes an exemption for large banks for first mortgages, required a two-thirds majority because it is a tax increase. Some senators tried to split that out from the revised tax exemptions for newspapers, food processing operations and server farms, which by themselves only require a simple majority.

"This is a bad precedent (mixing) tax breaks for some and tax increases for others," Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, argued. "I assure you this will find its way to the courts."

But the bill passed 35-10, two votes over the required super majority.

Among Spokane-area senators, Mike Baumgartner and Lisa Brown voted yes, Mike Padden and Mark Schoesler voted no. Bob Morton was excused.

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