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taxes

KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

Washington has to pony up $3.5 billion for basic education – but how the heck is that going to happen?

A back-of-the-envelope calculation by the Department of Revenue makes the solution look simple: Be like Oregon – or Idaho – and get an income tax.

The Washington Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday morning about the legality of anti-tax activist Tim Eyman's latest voter-approved initiative.

Should Washington’s Constitution be amended to require a two-thirds vote for tax hikes? The Republican-led state Senate voted “yes” to that Friday. But supporters failed to muster the supermajority vote required to send the question to voters.

Magnolia Elementary School has been boarded-up for more than a decade, and would reopen if voters approve Seattle Schools' Feb. 9 capital levy.
Seattle Public Schools

Magnolia Elementary School is a big, brick building that opened in 1927. This historic landmark has been boarded up for 12 years.

"Be careful of the water here; I don't want you to slip and fall," said Jeanette Imanishi, a construction project manager for Seattle Public Schools. She suspects a leaky roof is responsible for the giant puddle in this hallway.

An Oregon state lawmaker is making what he calls a long shot attempt at heading off an initiative that would raise corporate taxes.

The Washington Supreme Court will likely decide the fate of a voter-approved tax-limiting measure. A judge in King County ruled Thursday that Initiative 1366, approved in November, is unconstitutional.

The union-backed group that's seeking to increase taxes on some of Oregon's largest corporations is ramping up its signature collection efforts this weekend.

Washington's governor is ruling out a direct public subsidy to save the jobs of hundreds of workers at the Northwest's last operational aluminum smelters. But other forms of support such as retraining assistance remain under consideration.

Hillary Clinton wants you to know she has a new tax proposal. She also wants you to know that Bernie Sanders does not.

Bill Radke speaks with Yoram Bauman about Carbon Washington, a state initiative that would create a carbon tax and lower the state sales tax by 1 percent. The initiative could be on the ballot in November.

Capitol building in Olympia, Washington.
Flickr Photo/Jim Heising (Cc BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1mSjMNM

Bill Radke spoke with Associated Press reporter Rachel La Corte about the three big issues the state legislature will have to deal with in 2016, including education funding, charter schools and the Tim Eyman tax initiative that passed in November.

Opponents of Initiative 1366, a tax-limiting measure passed by Washington voters on November 3, said they will try to get an injunction to keep the new law from taking effect. That announcement Thursday comes as the Washington Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that allowed the measure to remain on the ballot.

Tim Eyman
AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Tim Eyman's latest tax-reducing intitiative, I-1366, passed handily in Tuesday's election.

Eyman talked to David Hyde about why he thought the initiative was necessary and about how he feels to get the victory while he's under investigation over allegations of campaign finance violations.

Washington voters appear to have given the thumbs up to another Tim Eyman tax-limiting measure. But the courts could get the final say.

KUOW and KPLU are likely to become one. Pacific Lutheran University has announced the intent to sell.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Being asked to pay extra for transit or schools is a regular event for Seattle voters. In Tuesday's election, they backed the $930 million Move Seattle levy.

So it’s a logical question: Are Seattle taxpayers carrying a heavier tax burden than people in other major U.S. cities?

The latest Elway Poll released Monday showed Initiative 1366, a tax-limiting measure on Washington’s November ballot, is tied. Sixteen percent of Washington voters said they’re still not sure how they’ll vote.

These boots make a point:  sales tax was $15.36, meaning a person paid Seattle's minimum wage works an hour just to pay state and local taxes. A higher-paid worker pays proportionally less.
KUOW Feet & Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s surging economy continues to cause concerns about affordability.

Monday afternoon, the Seattle Transit riders union held a rally to bring attention to the need for a more equitable standard of living in the city.

But some of the reasons why people struggle in Seattle are deeply ingrained.

Illustration by Drew Christie

What is the history of Washington state's political allergy to an income tax? Steven Thomson of Olympia posed this question to KUOW's Local Wonder.

We had an income tax once in Washington state.

It was during the Great Depression, and a lot of people were down and out.

People were so excited about the income tax that they voted twice. First, they changed the state constitution to allow the tax. Then voters approved the tax – 70 percent in favor.

Wealthy donors helped get Initiative 1366 on the ballot. Now Washington voters will decide whether to approve Tim Eyman’s latest effort to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature or a vote of the people for tax hikes.

City of Seattle pothole rangers at work in 2011.
Seattle Department of Transportation

The cure for some of Seattle’s transportation pains may be tough to swallow: a nearly $800 increase in annual taxes, fees and user charges for the city’s typical household.

That number comes from former state transportation chief Doug MacDonald, who calculated the cost of changes in state tax structure, car-tab charges and proposed levies.

Washington anti-tax activist Tim Eyman could face civil or even criminal sanctions for alleged campaign finance violations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is calling for a top-to-bottom review of a long-troubled tax incentive. The Business Energy Tax Credit was supposed to give companies an incentive to invest in clean energy.

Oregon taxpayers will get a boost on next year’s tax returns from the state’s first kicker rebate since 2007. So what does $402 million look like when you send it back to nearly 2 million taxpayers?

Lawsuit Challenges Eyman Anti-Tax Measure

Jul 31, 2015

Opponents of an anti-tax initiative in Washington state are filing a lawsuit to prevent the measure from appearing on the November ballot.

Billionaire Paul Allen wants wildlife traffickers to feel a bit more pain. Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman wants state lawmakers to feel a bit of pain too.

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

Washington’s gas tax would go up nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road projects under a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans.

To raise or not to raise taxes? That is the question that’s pushing Washington lawmakers into a second 30-day special session.

Democratic Representative Tobias Read introduced a bill Thursday that would divert a potential kicker tax rebate.

One day after the state got a favorable revenue forecast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he no longer believes the $1.4 billion tax package he proposed in December is necessary.

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