OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Gov. Chris Gregoire is proposing a new tax on fuel and the extension of two temporary taxes to help pay the state's court-ordered obligation on public education.
In her final budget proposal on Tuesday, Gregoire said a budget without new revenues would force the closure of state parks, eliminate food assistance programs and cause additional cuts in education. The new wholesale tax on gasoline and diesel fuel would eventually rise to 4.62 percent. The governor also wants to extend taxes on beer and business taxes paid by doctors, lawyers, accountants and others.
Washington state governor-elect Jay Inslee will take office in January 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.
Inslee has said he will not raise taxes.