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Spin Control

Posts tagged: House Transportation Committee

So many taxes, so many comments

Joe Korbuszewski addresses the group protesting a new tax on microbreweries Friday on the Capitol steps.

OLYMPIA – The Legislature looked at raising a wide array of taxes Friday — on beer, gasoline or bottled water, on doctors, lawyers or janitors or on nonresidents who come to Washington to shop.

Some people told legislators it was the right thing to do, either to help schools or protect jobs. Others told them it was the wrong thing to do, because it will hurt businesses and destroy jobs.

Legislators didn't vote Friday on any of the proposals to close exemptions, end special rates, extend surcharges or make temporary taxes permanent. Their fate hinges on upcoming budget negotiations between the House, where the tax increase bills now reside, and the Senate, where a coalition that controls the chamber has vowed not to raise taxes. . .

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House panel keeps toll power with commission

OLYMPIA — The ability to set tolls on bridges, ferries and some special highway lanes would stay with the appointed Transportation Commission rather than the Legislature under an amendment rejected Monday afternoon.

The House Transportation Committee rejected an amendment to the 2013-15 budget that would require the Legislature to set all tolls, which was part of an initiative approved last year.

The Legislature regularly delegates that authority to the commission, but Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said voters should be able to  hold legislators accountable for those tolls at the next election, not an unelected board.

But Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said the bond market, which sets the rates for the bonds the state must sell to build big projects, generally charges more if a political body like the Legislature is in charge of setting the fares and tolls that will pay off the bonds. Approving the amendment would make financing more expensive, Clibborn said.

The amendment failed on a voice vote.

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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.

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