Gov. Gregoire Proposes New Fuel Tax to Pay for Schools
Although Jay Inslee will take over in January, Governor Chris Gregoire still has one more budget to submit to the state, and it includes new tax proposals.
Gregoire’s legacy began nearly eight years ago with fighting voters to overturn initiatives that would require two-thirds legislative majorities for new taxes.
Gregoire claims that a budget lacking in reserves would result in closures of state parks, cause cuts in education, and do away with food assistance programs. Her budget would tack on a new wholesale fuel tax that could potentially add up to nearly a 5 percent increase in the cost of fuel. Inslee had reportedly said he will not raise taxes.
She also wants to extend what were supposed to be temporary taxes on beer, and business taxes paid by doctors, lawyers and accountants as well as other business professionals.
Earlier this year, the Washington State Supreme Court said that the state has to spend certain amounts, or make investments, in education. In order to meet those mandates, Gregoire claims the taxes are needed. Inslee will inherit a projected $900 million budget deficit for the next two-year budget cycle when he takes over in January 2013.