State of Washington Sales Tax Increase (2009)

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A State of Washington Sales Tax Increase was proposed, unsuccessfully, for the November 2009 ballot in Washington by several Democratic members of the Washington House of Representatives, including Frank Chopp and Eric Pettigrew.

The measure favored by Chopp and Pettigrew would raise the state portion of the sales tax by three-tenths of a percent starting January 1, 2010, lasting for three years.[1]

According to a statement from Chopp, "To meet the challenges of the most difficult national recession in decades, we have worked hard to cut spending, make government more efficient and keep the priorities of our people foremost in mind. I strongly support this referendum to meet the needs of our people for critical care in hospitals, nursing homes and basic health. “At the same time, we must bring a greater sense of fairness to our revenue system. That is why the Working Families Tax Credit is so important – to give a break to those who need it the most. As we move forward to a stronger economy, we must not leave anyone behind and must appeal to the goodness of our citizens to care for all."

According to Pettigrew, if the Legislature doesn't put the measure on the ballot, and if voters don't approve it, "people will die."[2]

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