$668 million isn’t as bad as the originally proposed $800 million, but let’s remember this is still a huge burden that Washington will be placing on their taxpayers as early as tomorrow. As the play clock ticks down on the legislature’s special session, the Democratic majority is trying to pass some package of tax hikes. The House has passed $668 million of the $800 million tax package initially proposed and the Senate will probably follow suit. Governor Christine Gregoire (D) isn’t too happy about this new plan, favoring the bigger package: “You take one piece out, you unravel it. You push another piece in, you unravel it.”
Gov. Gregoire isn’t the only one upset about these taxes. Last Friday a coalition of soda bottlers, grocers, and convenience store owners went to Olympia to express the concern for these discriminatory taxes. One industry opponent of the soda tax, Coca-Cola, noted that “Any increase in cost results in a decrease in sales, which prompts layoffs; the industry could cut jobs by 10 percent.”
Not only will soda taxes affect taxpayers, but cigarette taxes, taxes on bottled water, an increase on the beer tax, increases in business taxes, and taxes on out-of-state businesses that do business in Washington are all on the table.
Washington’s special session will finish tomorrow, ending a four month long circus to raise taxes. If by the grace of God the Washington legislature fails to approve anything, Gov. Gregoire will be forced to make plans for across-the-board cuts. Hopefully the buzzer goes of before the people of Washington are stuck with a $668 million tax hike.