Democrats in the Senate want to close four tax exemptions or loopholes as they and Governor Inslee call them, to raise money for education.

They say the plan would raise $100-plus million for schools next year, and over $200 million over the next two.    The legislators are attempting to respond to the controversial state Supreme Court ruling that claims they are not funding schools to legally-mandated levels (The McCleary Decision).

Democrats have offered up a slimmed-down version of Gov. Inslee's plan, which would have eliminated as many as 7 tax breaks to raise the funds.   According to The Olympian newspaper, these are the "loopholes" that would be changed or eliminated:

*An extracted fuel exemption worth $31.7 million this year and $59.1 million in the next biennium. The exemption was meant for pulp mills in 1949 but used by oil refineries once they moved into the state starting in the 1950s. (Eliminated).

*A sales tax on bottled water that voters rejected a few years ago in an initiative that also targeted a pop tax. It would raise $24.3 million this year and $48.2 million over two years. (Bold lettering added for emphasis).  (Tax would be added).

*A sales tax exemption for out of  state shoppers from states with low sales taxes. It would be worth $29 million this year and $61.3 million over two years. (Eliminated-Oregon shoppers would pay sales tax).

*A preferential tax rate would end for re-sellers of prescription drugs, which Democrats say would require that out of state firms warehousing medications in Washington would pay the same rate others pay. It could raise $15.6 million this year and $34.3 million over the next biennium. (Eliminated).