Throughout this long legislative session, we’ve been waiting and waiting and asking and calling and emailing and facebooking and waiting some more to see what sort of revenue package our legislators are going to come up with. We’ve always known that an all-cuts budget is just no bueno – you can’t cut more when you’ve cut everything, and that’s pretty much where we are. And now, we have some indication of where we might end up:
Firstly, yesterday the State Senate passed, for the first time in 17 years, a budget that includes a general tax increase. Shocking? Sort of. But mainly it’s the sort of Rubicon that, when crossed, makes a lot peoples’ eyebrows go way way up at the possibility of what might come next.
Secondly, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane) has kick-started an idea that she’s thrown around since at least last year: a high-earners tax. specifically targeted at individuals, heads of families and couples making no less than $200,000. It’s appended to Senator Rosa Franklin’s annual income-tax proposal, and if passed would go before voters in November.
It’s a bit late in the session to feel jolly, but for the millions of Washingtonians who have been watching Olympia and hoping for some sort of hand up in this time of hardship, it finally feels like there might be something good coming our way. Watch this space.