Washington Governor Says With Tax Changes, State Could Fund Education

Dec 13, 2016

Washington state could completely fund its public schools for the first time in decades. Democratic Governor Jay Inslee rolled out his budget proposal today .

Higher taxes for some, lower taxes for others, and a new carbon pollution tax. That's Governor Inslee's formula to bring in four billion dollars over the next two years. Most of the money would go toward education.

Inslee said he knows it sounds bold, but...

"But I will just tell you we are a big and bold state. We are the state that built the Grand Coulee Dam, the state that build the Boeing 747, and we're the state that can fully fund basic education after 30 years," Inslee said.

Under Inslee's budget proposal, teachers would make about 20 thousand dollars more a year. Every school district would get more state money. The plan relies on increasing some taxes, and closing a few tax loopholes.

The business and occupation tax would increase by one-percent, but more employers could be exempt. Inslee wants to create a new tax on the state's biggest carbon polluters. At the same time, property taxes would decrease for a majority of households and businesses.

Inslee's plan would need approval from lawmakers, who will propose their own budget ideas in the coming weeks. The state Supreme Court has found the legislature to be in contempt of court for failing to fund education.

Copyright 2016 KUOW