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Wash. Gov. Inslee Likely To Propose Robust Tax Package

Washington_capitol.jpg
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is likely to propose a revenue package that exceeds $1 billion when he unveils his proposed two-year budget next week, according to the governor’s budget director who briefed reporters at the Capitol Tuesday.

Washington expects to take in nearly $3 billion more in taxes over the next two years. Even so, the governor’s budget office anticipates a nearly $2.5 billion shortfall. A school funding lawsuit and cost-of-living raises for state and K-12 employees are two big ticket items.

David Schumacher directs the Office of Financial Management. He said Inslee will propose a mix of cuts and revenues to balance the budget — but revenue will be the bigger piece.

“After seven years of cuts, the ability to get significant amounts of revenue from “efficiencies” is just not there anymore,” Schumacher said.

Schumacher confirmed Inslee’s proposed revenue package could be in the $1 billion range. No details were forthcoming but sources of revenue could include a carbon tax, closing tax exemptions and even a capital gains tax.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.