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Under Republican Attack, Inslee Defends Tax Proposals

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 at the annual Associated Press Legislative Preview in Olympia, Wash.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is defending his call for higher taxes in 2015. The Democrat reacted Thursday to criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Washington Republicans said higher taxes should be a last resort and accused Inslee of making taxes his default position.

Inslee laughed off the criticism at a legislative forum sponsored by the Associated Press.

“Well, it’s wrong,” he said. “It’s not true to start with.”

Inslee said he came to the conclusion that higher taxes are needed after modeling 15 percent across-the-board cuts, scrubbing the budget for savings and efficiencies and working to keep health care inflation in check.

“And when you do the math, you have to generate additional revenue,” Inslee said.

In December, Inslee unveiled a $1.4 billion proposed tax package that includes new taxes on capital gains and industrial carbon emissions, also an increase in the cigarette tax and the elimination of several tax exemptions.

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.