Washington Governor: End Tax Breaks, Extend Expiring Taxes To Fund Schools

By Austin Jenkins

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to close or curtail a dozen tax breaks and continue a couple of tax increases that are about to expire. The money raised – more than a billion dollars – would be earmarked for public schools. The plan unveiled Thursday is part of the Democrat’s budget priorities for the next two years.

Standing near a sign that read “we can do hard things,” Inslee called for a $1.2B down payment on a Supreme Court ruling that says the state is not adequately funding public schools. About half the new money would come from making permanent a couple of tax increases that are about to expire: namely on beer and professional services. The rest of the money would come from ending – or modifying - several tax exemptions – an issue Inslee campaigned on.

Jay Inslee: “I said that I was going to do three things when I was running for governor fo the state of Washington. I was increase education funding over $1B, I’m doing that. I said that I would close tax breaks to make sure that we did do that. I said that I would do that without increases in existing tax rates, I’m doing that. I’m doing exactly what I said during that campaign.”

Republicans quickly panned the revenue package. Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler called it a “kick in the teeth to job creators.” The majority coalition he helps lead is expected to release a no-new-revenue budget proposal next week.

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