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A Look at Gov. Inslee’s Plan to Tax Bottled Water, Janitorial Services to Fund Education

Inslee wants to tax all facets of bottled water industry
(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

While State Superintendent Randy Dorn doesn’t think Inslee’s plan goes far enough,  others are in opposition.

To satisfy the controversial State Supreme Court’s upholding of the McCleary decision, Gov. Inslee wants to close what he calls tax “loopholes” to generate $200 million dollars for education.   The decision claims the state legislature is not, in layman’s terms, spending enough money on schools.    Dorn believes that figure should be closer to $400 million.

But dozens of political and business leaders,  small business people and hundreds of citizens are speaking up against the idea.

The Sunnyside Daily News, an online news service from Sunnyside, WA reported last week:

 ”Besides levying a sales tax on bottled water, in conflict with a 2010 voter-approved measure, Inslee also wants to make janitorial services subject to the tax.

Inslee further seeks to make it more difficult for shoppers from out of state to forgo paying sales tax.

If his idea passes muster in the state house, shoppers from Oregon, for example, would no longer be exempt from paying sales tax at the counter.

Instead, they would have to pay the sales tax, then apply for a refund once each year for purchases over $25. Purchases under that amount would not be eligible for the rebate.”

Dean Broersma, who is not only a Sunnyside City Council member, but also owner of Valley Professional Carpet and Upholstery cleaners, warns this plan is a tax, no matter how Inslee spins it.   He says such businesses sell a service, not a product and this plan would create one more hoop to jump through besides the numerous local and county tax burdens they have to deal with.

  He says it would create a “logistical mess” for janitorial operations.

 It is also worthy to note that if Inslee’s plan passes,  the bottled water tax would be in conflict with a 2010 voter-approve measure.

 The plan is now in the state legislature, and the House and Senate are looking it over.  It is sure to run into a wall of opposition from The Coalition in the GOP-controlled Senate.

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