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State of Washington Tax Increase Proposal (2009)

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A State of Washington Tax Increase Proposal was considered for the November 2009 ballot, according to Democratic members of the Washington State Legislature, but nothing came of it. They considered a tax increase on the November 2009 ballot in Washington to help make up for a budget shortfall. As of February, it was still unclear when it might be on the ballot or what form it would take, though it would likely be targeted to paying for specific services.[1] Washington is one of the few U.S. states that does not have an income tax, though some prominent citizens, such as Bill Gates, have advocated for putting in place a progressive tax of income.[2]

"I'm assuming there will probably be something that goes on the ballot," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Kelli Linville, D-Bellingham. House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler agreed.

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said she expects to bring ballot-measure ideas to her caucus for consideration.[1]

On March 11, a coalition of interest groups including the Washington State Hospital Association, Washington Education Association, branches of the Service Employees International Union, Group Health, and the Washington Conservation Voters announced a plan for further polling on the matter after initial polls showed mixed results. The group hopes to place a tax referendum on the ballot of up to $2 billion.[3]

Gregoire's position

The position of Gov. Chris Gregoire on a statewide ballot measure to increase taxes has not been fully developed, although a mid-March report says that she "likes the idea of voter-approved bonds to pay for statewide school infrastructure projects, but remains skeptical of a possible public vote on higher taxes to soften the blow of an $8 billion budget deficit."[4]

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