Washington sales tax proposal to not be on ballot

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July 27, 2009

SEATTLE, Washington: In a recent four-to-two decision, the King County Council voted to keep a proposal of a one-tenth of a cent sales tax increase off the ballot in November. Analysts said that the tax would have provided revenue for services already dependent on public funds, such as public health, criminal justice and human services. The council members who voted against it, however, marked the recession as the main reason behind their opposition. "While well-meaning, in this difficult economy, we cannot ask the public to pay more in taxes for a premature proposal," said council member Bob Ferguson shortly after the decision was made.[1] He further criticized the organizers of the proposal for not getting it to the council in its finished form until twenty-four hours before they were to vote on it, not giving enough time for a proper review of the intended and unintended consequences.[2]

Proponents of the measure expressed their disappointment after the voting finished, citing important programs that remain key points of support for low-income families and communities. Jan Patterson, one of the council members who voted for the proposal, said, "It is so severe - the budget cuts that we're going to consider this year - that it made sense to me that we should allow the people the opportunity to express their opinion about those cuts."[1]