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The harsh reality of budget cuts — and why new revenue is vital to Washington’s economic recovery

This fall, voters will have the opportunity to decide whether Washington’s children will join the ranks of kids in other states who are paying the price for this recession: Hawaii has gone to a four-day school week; districts in Kansas

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Posted in Educational Opportunity, Higher Education, K-12 Education

Legislature’s tax package will help ease pain overall

The Legislature has finally figured out a budget and closed up shop. The headlines will be about new taxes. But the equation that taxes are by nature bad doesn’t add up. What do taxes pay for? Schools, roads, health care,

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy, Progressive Tax Reform

Never assume — it’ll make an economist out of you and me.

Making assumptions is a necessary part of an economist’s work — but that’s no excuse for failing to reveal them when you make your case for a particular public policy choice, as Kriss Sjoblom does in his recent Seattle Times

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Increase taxes to protect and save jobs. Yes, really.

That noise you hear is the sound of heads exploding over at the offices of the Washington Policy Center when reading last week’s Puget Sound Business Journal, in which EOI’s policy director Marilyn Watkins writes: Contrary to what some pundits

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Ax It or Tax It: Tax breaks for coal and private schools, leveraging additional Medicaid payments, and new sin taxes

  Today’s suggested exemptions to ax and sins to tax: $10.9 million | Sales tax on out of state coal. Coal burned by a Centralia power plant was exempted from sales tax when 70% was purchased locally, to help preserve

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Ax It or Tax It: $317.9 million for a suite of business tax exemptions and increased taxes on hazardous substances

Today’s suggested exemptions to ax and sins to tax: $92.9 million | Implement Governor Gregoire’s proposals for limiting tax exemptions: B&O exemption for out-of-state businesses with “economic nexus”: Washington now taxes companies with a physical presence in the state –

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Ax It or Tax It: $241.8 million for an interstate commerce fuel tax break and an increase in the state estate tax

Today’s suggested exemptions to ax and sins to tax: $176 million | End the sales tax exemption on fuel and other items used in interstate commerce. Air, rail, and water transportation companies engaged in interstate or foreign commerce are exempt

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Recipe for Disaster, or: How Your Kid’s Schoolteacher Caused A Budget Crisis

Reading Richard Davis’ latest opinion column in the Puget Sound Business Journal is like eating a meal prepared by a blindfolded cook. We begin with a helping of red herring, in which Mr. Davis cites a Heritage Foundation report that

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Ax It or Tax It: $96.1 million for securities brokers, candy and gum, bakery goods sold on-site and cosmetic surgery.

Today’s suggested exemptions to ax and sins to tax: Washington relies heavily on sales tax revenue. Services, which are largely untaxed, make up a growing percentage of the state economy in comparison to goods. The net effect is that the

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy
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