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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Reuven Carlyle

Some question if state getting enough for Boeing tax breaks

OLYMPIA – The Legislature opened its third special session, which some have dubbed the Boeing session, with a look back 10 years, trying to make sure the aerospace giant keeps jobs in Washington in return for some $8.4 billion in proposed tax breaks.

Gov. Jay Inslee and most other witnesses at a House Finance Committee hearing on the tax break package extolled the economic and civic virtues of the state's largest manufacturer. It employs tens of thousands in its factories, has hundreds of suppliers around the state, keeps ports busy, stimulates the Puget Sound economy and even provides work for more than 100 visually impaired machinists through Lighthouses for the Blind in Seattle and Spokane.

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Coal ports: Economic plus or minus?

OLYMPIA – Building new coal terminals near Bellingham and Longview will have major economic benefits for the entire state, a new study conducted for the Washington Farm Bureau suggests.

“All Washington exporters stand to benefit,” John Stuhmiller, Farm Bureau director, said. More trains and bigger terminals will help Northwest farmers, who export most of their wheat and some of their other crops.

“We have to trade, we have to import,” Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said at the news conference to announce the report.

But opponents of the terminals and the increase in coal trains that would feed them say there are negative impacts, too, that the state should study…

 

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House passes estate tax ‘fix’

OLYMPIA — The House approved a change in the estate tax to address a loss in court that could cost the state more than $40 million in the coming weeks.

On a 53-33 vote, it approved a deal negotiated with Senate Republicans that could keep refund checks being sent tomorrow to families that challenged one aspect of the estate tax that was enacted in 2005. It provides some new deductions for family owned businesses that have high property assets but relatively small cash reserves. . .

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Senate majority claims counter on budget, mum on details

OLYMPIA — Leaders of the coalition that controls the Senate say they have made a counter offer on the budget to the House Democrats, who yesterday announced a $33.6 billion spending plan for 2013-15.

It's a “comprehensive” offer, Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina said. It spends more than $1 billion extra on public schools. 

So what's in it and how is it different from House Bill 1057?

“We're not going to negotiate in the press,” Tom said at a press conference the Majority Coalition Caucus called, ostensibly to say they had countered on the budget.

Told that the House Democrats plan to spend about $1 billion extra for schools, too, Tom said the budget really only has $700 million. It relies on closing a list of tax credits to raise money beyond that level for schools, and that's not a reliable solution.

“It needs to be dependable funding,” Tom said. “Going out to the voters, by nature is not a dependable source.”

There's no guarantee the voters will say yes, he added. “This is not the Soviet Union where you can guarantee a vote.”

But the House tax package does not have a referendum clause, its author, Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, said. It  is expected to have an emergency clause, making it unlikely the taxes could be placed on the ballot by a signature campaign.  

Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina, the House Democrats chief budget negotiator, declined to say whether the Senate Majority Caucus, which includes 23 Republicans and two Democrats, had presented a comprehensive counter offer. 

“We're moving a budget so we have a vehicle,” Hunter said. That process is public, but negotiations are in private. “I'm not going to characterize those private offers.” 

Split the state? Dissolve some counties? Not likely

OLYMPIA – The east-west split in Washington is probably never as interesting as in the early weeks of a legislative session, when hope springs eternal in the breasts of legislators with novel if not always practical ideas.

This period sometimes births proposals from Eastern Washington solons to divide the state along the crest of the Cascades and divest the right-thinking folks on the dry side from those people whose repeated exposure to rain, Microsoft money and ferry commutes makes them terrible spend thrifts intent on saddling every business owner, farmer and local official with a mountain of red tape and an army of bureaucrats. The proposal to set up this 51st state, possibly named Lincoln or Columbia, generally gets, at most, a hearing where some west siders have a chance to suggest good riddance to eastern brethren.

This year a small group of Western Washington legislators propose a remedy for an imbalance they see against their side of the mountains: Counties that receive far more in state money than they send to Olympia in taxes could be dissolved and attached to a neighboring county or divvied up among several….

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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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