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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

One person’s economic incentive is another’s giveaway…

As the Legislature considers whether to renew $74 million worth of tax breaks for rural companies and high-tech research, critics say the state's poor need that money more than, say, Microsoft.

To underscore their point, Washington Citizen Action and the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations put together a list of alternative ways to spend $74 million. The cash could:

-Hire 1,300 teachers at an average salary of $44,954, or
-Pay for job training for 17,390 welfare recipients, or
-Provide basic health coverage for 31,000 poor people.

Proponents of the tax breaks argue that they're necessary for a strong economy, particularly in rural areas. Prosperous, growing companies, they say, provide both jobs and more taxes to support social service programs.

Stay tuned...

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.