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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Candy tax update: Lege did talk about diabetes

OLYMPIA -- Spin Control may have taken an unfair swipe at the Legislature on Tuesday in the preceding post when writing about reader questions regarding the candy tax.

At least one committee hearing on the tax on sweet stuff did have witnesses raising the question about whether putting a sales tax on candy was unfair to diabetics. Niki Reading, reporter and blogger for TVW's Capitol Record, wrote to say that it came up at a Jan. 22 joint hearing of the House Finance and Health Care committees, when an early version of a candy tax bill was discussed.

That was for HB 2388, which was a short-lived proposal to levy the sales tax on candy and put the money in a special fund for public health projects. One witness did raise an objection that the tax was unfair to diabetics.

That bill never made it out of committee, and the eventual revenue bill that was put together in the special session puts the candy tax money into the general fund. So it's hard to guess whether any of the legislators present at that Jan. 22 joint committee meeting, who were weighing their vote on the final tax package, had a momentary pause where they wondered "didn't someone mention something about this being unfair to some people with some medical condition?"

Of course, if they had, it might not have made much difference because the Legislature's special session coach was about to turn into a pumpkin, and there wasn't any way to delay the vote to get a bit more research, let alone hold a public hearing.

But big thanks to Niki Reading for the information on the hearing that Spin Control may have missed (or dozed off during). And apologies to the Legislature for any unfair aspersions the previous post may have cast.


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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