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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Gregoire to Otter: Don’t be talking trash to my business

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire jabbed back at her Idaho counterpart Tuesday over whose state is better from business.
Washington’s got a better rating in Forbes Magazine for being business friendly and doesn’t have a personal or corporate income tax, she said during a press conference.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter began this exercise in gubernatorial smack talk Monday, posting a “love letter” to businesses in Washington and Oregon. He invited them to move to his state to avoid taxes that voters raised in the latter and the Legislature is likely to raise in the former.
Both houses have passed bills raising taxes and dropping some incentives for businesses, although the two proposals have vast differences in the types of taxes, and significant disagreement on the amount to raise. This may cause them to miss Thursday’s deadline for ending the short session.
Idaho has a nice, stable tax system, he wrote: “Predictable tax and regulatory policies are what our employers need in order to maintain their operations through this rough patch.”
Gregoire’s rejoinder: “We’re second best in Forbes, they went from seventh to eleventh.”And while she professed to not being an expert on Idaho, she was pretty sure they had taxes which Washington doesn’t have, such as the corporate profits tax and a graduated income tax.
She didn’t mention of one tax Washington has but Idaho doesn’t, the business and occupation tax on gross receipts.
She said she hadn’t talked to Otter about his letter. “I have a call in to him today.”
Trying to recruit businesses from another state is “fair game,” but suggesting there’s a massive tax increase going on in Washington is not, Gregoire said.
Clearly, gubernatorial smack talk is not as fun as say, WWF smack talk. Go inside the blog to see how they might want to ramp up the volume.

Butchie the O: Your state budget is so fat you be needing more taxes to keep from falling off the cliff into the Valley of Red Ink.

Chrissy G: Whose state you calling fat, jeans boy? Your state's so small it's gotta stand on a ladder, and it's in the red, too We got us an ocean, cities with gajillions of people, and six - count 'em six - state universities We got sbridges that float across water. How many bridges you got that float?

B: Yeah, but your state's so fat you be making it bad for bidness. Yo, biz, y'all come east, where we'll take good care of you.

C: Yeah, but your bidness gotta pay corp tax. We don't got no corp tax, dude. We don't got no income tax, neither.

B: You got the B 'n' Os, though. That tax smells like it's name, girl, B.O.

C: You hustle bidness in my state, I'll hustle bidness in yours.


Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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