Inslee: Extending expiring taxes not an increase

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday that he doesn’t consider the extension of temporary taxes — as proposed by his predecessor — a tax increase and that the idea is one of many he is open to as the legislative budget process begins.

At his first official news conference as governor, Inslee said that while he’s not proposing anything specific, he wants to give the Legislature “room to discuss this potential.”

“I don’t want to foreclose the possibility of those being on the table for discussion,” he said. “I’m not proposing it right now. I think it’s something that people are ultimately going to consider.”

Last month, former Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed a budget that would extend taxes on beer and business taxes paid by doctors, lawyers, accountants and others.

Inslee says he’s not breaking his campaign promise eschewing taxes because he doesn’t consider the extensions new taxes.

“These do not increase taxes,” he said. “They do not raise taxes on people over the existing level that they are paying today.”

Inslee was sworn in on Wednesday. He takes office 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.

More in Local News

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Lives were on the line

After an estimated 350K emergency calls over 35 years, dispatcher Steve Williams is set to retire.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Most Read