sales tax

Flickr Photo/victoriabernal (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich about whether Seattle's $15 an hour minimum wage will work in lessening economic inequality, and how Washington's tax system burdens the poor more than the rich.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Low-income transit passengers say the last few years have been difficult in King County with multiple fare increases and the end of the ride free zone in Seattle. But they are torn about whether to support Proposition 1, which would raise taxes in order to maintain existing Metro transit service.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s hopes for a gas tax package agreement before the end of the year have been dashed.

Flickr Photo/Drewski2112

A 440-foot superyacht named Serene is approaching a deadline date with Washington’s tax authorities.

If it cruises through that deadline by staying longer than 60 days, its owners will have to pay 10 percent of the yacht’s value, which is $30 million. 

"We're building a budget assuming everybody works their problems out in the best interest of the nation." That's how Stan Marshburn, outgoing director of Washington State's Office of Financial Management is planning for the fiscal cliff.

He says we're likely to suffer either way. If we go over the cliff, we can expect 50 percent cut to state military spending. To avoid the cliff, federal lawmakers might agree to reduce Medicaid spending -- another precious source of federal money.

Marshburn tells Ross his biggest concern is consumer confidence, since Washington gets so much of its money from sales tax.  He says reduced consumer spending could impact Washington's economy 10 times more than the actual fiscal cliff itself.