Senate Democrats propose $100 million in new taxes for education, teacher COLAs

This morning Democrats in the state Senate laid out a plan to put another $100 million into the state budget for education, including cost-of-living adjustments for teachers. (Here’s the press release.) The new taxes, which they characterize as “closing unproductive loopholes,” are recycled from past efforts to boost revenues: applying the sales tax to bottled water, ending the sales tax exemption for out-of-state residents, taxing recycled fuel (“extracted” or “hog fuel”) and increasing the tax rate for resellers of prescription drugs. The four were among the many tax increases introduced last year that failed to win legislative approval. (See, for example, our policy brief on the House Finance Committee proposal.) All four were part of the governor’s tax package.

In addition to funding the COLA, the Senate Democrats propose increased funding for class size reduction, “materials, supplies and operating costs,” and all day kindergarten. Here’s a little more detail on the taxes and spending proposal.

Gov. Inslee commended the Ds on their proposal. He wasn’t as pleased with the the bipartisan proposal yesterday.

Additional coverage in the Olympian and the Seattle Times. Also a good piece by Erik Smith on next steps in the budget process.

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