Gregoire proposes new fuel tax to fund education
Gov. Chris Gregoire is proposing a new tax on fuel and the extension of two temporary taxes to help pay the state’s court-ordered obligation on public education.
In her final budget proposal on Tuesday, Gregoire said a budget without new revenues would force the closure of state parks, eliminate food assistance programs and cause additional cuts in education.
So what are these new revenues? The outgoing governor is proposing higher taxes on gas, soda, candy and gum in addition to a new wholesale tax on gasoline and diesel fuel would eventually rise to 4.62 percent.
The governor also wants to extend taxes on beer and business taxes paid by doctors, lawyers, accountants and others.
In addition to the tax extensions, Gregoire is also proposing to block cost-of-living increases for teachers in order to save the state $360 Million.
“A budget that relies only on budget cuts does not build the future that I think is right for the people of Washington state nor do I think the citizens would want that,” Gregoire said.
Without new taxes Gregoire said the state would be forced to close state parks, eliminate food assistance programs and cause additional cuts in education.
Washington state governor-elect Jay Inslee will take office in January facing a projected $900 million deficit for the next two-year budget ending in mid-2015. That doesn’t include money lawmakers will need to spend to improve funding for education as directed by the state Supreme Court earlier this year.
Inslee has said he will not raise taxes.