Washington House Democrats Abandon Some Taxes, Not Others In "Compromise" Offer
By Austin Jenkins
Washington House Democrats have abandoned some proposed tax increases, but not others, in what they call a “significant compromise” budget offer to the Senate. The public unveiling Wednesday of a slimmed down House spending plan comes as the clock is running out on the current overtime session with still no budget deal.
House Democrats no longer propose to extend an expiring business and occupation tax surcharge on professional services. But their so-called “compromise” spending plan does still call for the repeal or narrowing of more than half-a-dozen tax exemptions and preferential rates. The slimmed-down House budget would spend less on education in order to protect certain safety net programs – despite a Supreme Court ruling that Washington isn’t spending enough for schools.
Perhaps most significant, House Democrats appear to have won over two Senate Democrats who earlier voted for the mostly Republican senate majority’s no-new-taxes budget. One of those Democrats is Sharon Nelson, who spoke at the House press conference.
“We have six days left in special session," Nelson said. "And I hope we will be able to pass this budget and move forward."
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom said he was “disappointed” by the new House proposal. He went on to say, “We will not let political expediency stand in the way of fulfilling our obligation to provide for our schools.”
Photo: Washington House Democrats, joined by two key Senate Democrats, unveil a “compromise” budget plan with six days left in the 30 days special session. Photo by Austin Jenkins