The candidates for Washington governor are accusing each other of plotting tax hikes if elected. The issue of taxation came up repeatedly Tuesday night as Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee met in Yakima. It was their third debate.
McKenna told the audience he doesn’t believe Inslee’s pledge not to raise taxes.
McKenna: “Saying he’s not proposing taxes, notice the careful use of the present tense, just like people who’ve come before him. When they’re running they’re not proposing tax increases, when they get there the legislature passes them and they sign them into law.”
Inslee: “Well in the present tense tonight, Rob is proposing to raise property taxes on hundreds of thousands of homeowner and small businesses across the state of Washington. You don’t have to worry. He’s already proposed this.”
That was a reference to McKenna’s support for something called a levy swap. The idea is to increase the state’s share of property tax funding for schools, while simultaneously lowering the reliance on local school levies. Republican McKenna repeated his support for a two-thirds threshold for tax hikes. Democrat Inslee opposes that supermajority rule. The candidates have two more debates planned before Election Day.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio