Open Government

WPC's Center for Government Reform's mission is to partner with stakeholders and citizens to work toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its transparency, accountability, performance, and effectiveness for taxpayers.

What's New

Legislative Roll Call Report

February 12, 2010 in In the News
The Daily News (Longview)
Source: 
The Daily News (Longview)
Date: 
Friday, February 12, 2010

Sales tax increase introduced

February 11, 2010 in Blog

With the Senate approving a 2-year repeal of I-960 (Taxpayer Protection Act) the House is gearing up for tax increase votes. Today Representatives Flannigan, Ericks, Pettigrew, Ormsby, ef="http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/representatives/pages/Eddy.aspx" style="white-space: nowrap;" target="_blank" title="View Eddy's web page.">Eddy, Chase, Appleton, Quall, Hunt, Sells, Nelson, Dickerson, Pedersen, Clibborn, Moeller introduced a bill to increase the state's sales tax by 1%.

From HB 3183:

"An unprecedented shortfall in state general fund and transportation revenues has threatened the state's ability to fund vital services and provide adequate transportation infrastructure. Cities, counties, and public transportation systems have also been hurt by the downturn in the economy. For this reason, the legislature is enacting an excise tax equivalent to one percent that will be reduced to one-half of a percent when the state's unemployment decreases to six and five-tenths percent for four continuous months and is eliminated when the unemployment rate decreases to five percent for four continuous months. The additional funding will keep people working, strengthen the safety net for citizens by providing vital needed services, and adding jobs as the economy begins to rebound through investing in the state's economy and infrastructure. The intent is to help people and the economy through the economic crisis, but when the economy has !
recovered, this tax will no longer be required and will be replaced by !
revenue being automatically generated through the revitalized economic growth in the state."

Based on a study by the Washington Research Council, a reduction in the state's unemployment rate to 5% will be a long time away seeing how a sales tax increase of this magnitude could cost 15,000 Washingtonians their jobs.

The state's current unemployment rate is 9.5%.

Poulsbo Legislator Backs 1% Increase in State Sales Tax

February 11, 2010 in In the News
Kitsap Sun (Bremerton)
Source: 
Kitsap Sun (Bremerton)
Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Senate moves step closer to tax increases

February 11, 2010 in In the News
Seattle PostGlobe
Source: 
Seattle PostGlobe
Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Washington Legislature Should Smell Some Strong Starbucks

February 11, 2010 in In the News
The Biz Coach
Source: 
The Biz Coach
Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Senate votes for full suspension of I-960

February 10, 2010 in Blog

At 11:10 this evening the Senate voted to suspend all of I-960's taxpayer protections, not just the 2/3 vote requirement suspension adopted just yesterday.

The vote for full suspension of I-960 was 26 to 22.

This evening's vote occurred because Senate Democrats said the bill adopted yesterday to only suspend the 2/3 vote requirement was done in error.

Curious!
ly, Democrats blamed Republicans for the late night vote. According to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown:

"We want to vote on the bill today, but the minority party has made it clear that it’s going to block the procedural vote that would allow that to happen.

We are disappointed – we don’t see a substantive reason for delay. We had a very thoughtful and thorough debate yesterday, and preventing a final vote on the bill today only serves to slow down the budget process.

We’d like to vote on the bill at a reasonable hour so the public can follow the debate, but if that’s not possible, we are prepared to work past midnight into the next legislative day so that we can vote on the 960 bill and send it over to the House as soon as possible."

This drew a strong rebuke from Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt:

"It��!
�s curious that at eight o’clock in the evening Senator Brow!
n would say Republicans denied the Senate the opportunity to vote on this bill today. At that point, Democrats in charge of the chamber hadn’t even brought the bill up for its first vote – let alone a final vote. It’s taken them all day to get this bill to the Senate floor. We would have been happy to have this debate during the daylight – except they weren’t organized enough to get this done before dark.

We are thrilled to take Senator Brown up on her offer to debate this issue at a reasonable hour. We agree that every person in our state should be able to see how their taxes are going to be raised and what is being done to them in the dark of night. Let’s take the final vote tomorrow, when everyone is awake and watching."

Senate Bill 6130 is now scheduled for public hearing and executive session on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. !
in the House Finance Committee.