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In brief: Income tax initiative heading to ballot

Fri., July 16, 2010

OLYMPIA – A voter initiative seeking to impose an income tax on Washington state’s wealthier residents is headed to the November ballot.

The state Elections Division said Initiative 1098 qualified for a spot on the ballot after a check of 3 percent of the petition signatures collected by the campaign. It’s the third of six possible initiatives to qualify.

Authorities are still investigating a possible case of signature fraud on a small number of petitions supporting I-1098. Those petitions were kept out of the pool that officials tested for qualification.

I-1098 would impose an income tax on high earners, while reducing state property taxes and expanding tax credits for small businesses.

Charity collecting school supplies

The Salvation Army will be collecting school supplies until Aug. 31 to assist low-income children.

Supplies and monetary donations can be brought to 222 E. Indiana Ave. from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Collection bins will also be at the following Spokane locations: Shopko, Fred Meyer, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, PrimeSource and Washington State Employees Credit Union branches. In addition, Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Cenex/Zip Trip stores will offer a free beverage for every $1 donation to the back-to-school drive.

Distribution is on a first-come, first-served basis, and is scheduled for Aug. 23-24, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the community center on Indiana. Identification and proof of each child in the home will be required. Last year supplies were distributed to 1,600 children.

For information about distribution and donation, call (509) 325-6821.

State, BLM move to halt Teton sale

RAWLINS, Wyo. – Wyoming and federal officials expect to draft proposals soon to avoid the auction of two square miles of state land inside Grand Teton National Park.

Wyoming has tried for years to get the federal government to buy or trade mineral rights or royalties for the land. Recently Gov. Dave Freudenthal threatened to auction off the land if an agreement can’t be reached.

This week, Freudenthal discussed the impasse with Bob Abbey, director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, during Abbey’s first official Wyoming visit as BLM director.

“I think everybody recognizes that the logical outcome of this is for there to be some kind of purchase tailored, frankly, by the federal government,” Freudenthal said.

He suggested the federal government could divert additional federal mineral revenues to Wyoming over time – sort of an installment program.

An exchange of mineral holdings also is on the table.

“There are several options that could make sense,” Abbey said.


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