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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Canned meat: Next taxable sin?

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Olympia Meet the secret ingredient in the state budget: Spam.

Along with tax increases on cigarettes and hard liquor, the recently released Senate budget proposal would slap a higher tax on canned meat.

Spam, vienna sausages, potted ham, chili con carne – no tinned meat would be spared the higher tax rate. The business and occupation tax is paid by the producer, not the consumer, although taxes do have a way of trickling down the food chain.

“That’s ridiculous,” scoffed Richard Wilson of Olympia, who was drinking whiskey and smoking, though not eating tinned meat, at a bar called King Solomon’s Reef on Tuesday afternoon.

“They’re actually raising taxes on poor people who can’t really afford it,” Wilson said. “You know they don’t have much money if they’re eating chili out of a can.”

Even some who believe lawmakers should raise taxes to pay for human services felt a twinge of sorrow.

“I’m torn between my love for vienna sausages and my love for state services,” confessed Olympia lobbyist Lauren Moughon, who called the canned meat product a “guilty, guilty pleasure.”

Slander of women closer to being legal

Olympia The House on Wednesday passed a Senate bill that would repeal the state law that criminalizes “slander of a woman.”

The bill, which passed 69-28, now goes to the governor.

The current statute prohibits “false or defamatory words or language which shall injure or impair” the virtuous and chaste reputation of any woman over the age of 12.

The law does say it’s OK to slander a “common prostitute.”

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