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Gregoire’s Sales Tax Proposal Could Face Stiff Opposition

Gov. Chris Gregoire
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

One of the efforts proposed by Govenor Gregoire to help offset the billion dollar budget shortfall in Olympia would be a temporary sales tax.  History has shown WA  voters don’t usually agree.

The Governor’s proposal would be a half a billion dollar sales tax increase over the next five years that would be considered “temporary,”  ending after five years.   Senator Mark Schoesler of the Ways and Means Committee in Olympia says perhaps Gregoire and supporters of the bill need to consider what happened when such measures were brought before WA voters in the past.

  Washington voters were asked to approve tax increase proposals for the purposes of education five times since 1973, with overwhelming negative results.  In 1973- 77% said no; 1975 -63%;  1989- 66%, 2004- 60% and in 2010, 64% said no.  Pretty convincing data, according to a report done by the Washington Policy Center, a non-profit political and economic watchdog group.   Schoesler cites their report as a wakeup call for legislators to re-prioritize state government spending, determine what should and needs to be cut, and look at ALL programs before the discussion of additional revenues even comes to the table.   As history has shown, and especially given current economic conditions, if Gregoire is able to get her proposal to the voters this November, she could be in for an awakening.

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