taxes

Idaho Wildlife Summit
6:47 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Idaho Wildlife Summit Considered A Success

Attendees at a lecture during the Idaho Wildlife Summit.
Photo by Aaron Kunz EarthFix

Idaho’s Fish and Game Department told stakeholders this weekend they are losing funding for valuable wildlife conservation programs. This weekend’s public summit was held to get some help from the people they serve. Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

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Oregon Corporate Kicker Rebate
4:50 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Corporate Kicker Initiative Could Be Low-Key Fight

Another corporate tax hike, Measure 67, generated more opposition than the current measure headed for the ballot.
M.O. Stevens Wikimedia Commons

This fall, Oregon voters will debate the future of one of the state’s most unusual tax policies. Oregon elections officials will soon announce whether an initiative to repeal the state's one-of-a-kind corporate kicker rebate has made the ballot. Backers submitted well over the number of signatures needed. But unlike one recent corporate tax measure, this initiative isn't generating much opposition yet.

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Public School Rebates
5:39 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Corporate Kicker For K-12 Well On Track To November Ballot

An initiative to redirect corporate tax rebates to public schools is on track to qualify for the November ballot. This rebate is called the kicker because it goes into effect when tax revenues exceed projections by more than 2 percent.

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Cigarette Tax
5:00 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Judge Blocks Tax On Roll Your Own Cigarettes

Pre-packaged cigarettes are currently almost twice the price of roll-your-own cigarettes.
bachmont Wikimedia Commons

Currently you can walk out of a tobacco shop with a pack of roll-your-own cigarettes for about $5.50. A pack of Marlboros will put you back almost twice that much. That’s because tobacco shops don’t charge the same tax on roll-your-own cigarettes as they would for pre-packaged cigarettes.

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Simple Majority For Taxes
4:31 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Judge Rules Wash. Supermajority Requirement For Taxes Unconstitutional

Supermajority initiative sponsor Tim Eyman is already circulating another petition for this November. A link to the full initiative can be found below.
State of Washington

A King County judge Wednesday ruled that Washington voters cannot impose a two thirds majority requirement to raise taxes on the state legislature. Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller found voter approved anti-tax Initiative 1053 to be unconstitutional. But the ruling is far from the last word on the matter.

A group of Democratic state lawmakers and their allies sued to overturn the requirement for a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes. Washingtonians have repeatedly approved that high threshold at the ballot.

But a county judge in Seattle accepted the plaintiffs' argument that the supermajority requirement conflicts with the state constitution. It says a simple majority is all it takes to pass a bill.

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Cell Phone Tax
6:39 am
Thu May 24, 2012

How A Lobbyist And His iPad Helped Stop A Telephone Tax

Washington's cable industry created a series of ads to appeal to people who get their phone through broadband cable.
Photo by Kevin Mooney Northwest News Network

It’s no secret that interest groups influence state lawmakers. But it’s not often clear how that actually happens. Much of the action occurs behind-the-scenes. So we’re going to give you a rare glimpse inside the influence game -- to see how lobbyists help shape public policies that affect our everyday lives. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reconstructs how a lobbyist and his iPad changed the course of a $1 billion piece of legislation.

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Great Wolf Lodge
6:20 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge Tax Exemption Stands Despite Internal Doubts, Court Ruling

Families play in the wave pool at Great Wolf Lodge south Of Olympia.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Since the 1970s, U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes has been to encourage economic independence. Tribal casinos are probably the most visible symbol of that policy. These days, tribes are diversifying into other businesses. In 2005, the Chehalis Indian tribe in southwest Washington partnered with a Wisconsin-based water park chain to build a destination resort. The state of Washington, in turn, granted the project tax exempt status. But now, correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question whether Great Wolf Lodge really is a tribal entity and eligible for favorable tax treatment.

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Oregon Taxes
5:34 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Corporate Kicker Opponents Collect Initiative Signatures

Oregon initiative activists begin gathering signatures this weekend for a measure to do away with a corporate tax rebate.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Jenkins/ Flickr Northwest News Network

Oregon initiative activists begin gathering signatures this weekend for a measure to do away with a corporate tax rebate. It's known as the kicker because it's triggered when tax revenues exceed projections by more than two percent.

There's also a personal tax kicker, which this initiative would not touch. The labor-backed group, Our Oregon is sponsoring the ballot measure. The proposal would send money from the corporate kicker to schools. Spokesman Scott Moore says currently most of the refunds go to companies headquartered outside of Oregon.

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Idaho Representative/Tax Evader
6:31 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Idaho Lawmaker Is Tax Crusader To Some, Tax Dodger To Feds

Idaho Representative R- Phil Hart is in danger of the U.S. Justice Department foreclosing on his home near Athol, Idaho.
Photo credit: Idaho House of Representatives Northwest News Network

ATHOL, Idaho -- Tax evasion will get you into hot water with the IRS. But in north Idaho, it won’t necessarily spell the end of your political career. A Republican state legislator who believes the federal income tax is unconstitutional is battling charges of tax evasion, even as he seeks reelection.

The federal government says Phil Hart owes more than $500,ooo in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. The U.S. Justice Department is threatening to foreclose on his home near Athol, Idaho if he doesn’t pay up. Meanwhile, Idaho tax collectors say Hart owes the state another $53,000.

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Wash Sales Tax Deduction
4:34 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Wash. Governor Urges Congress To Renew Sales Tax Deduction

Washington residents may not be able to deduct sales tax from their federal income tax returns for 2012.
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Unless Congress acts, 2011 will be the last year Washington residents were able to deduct sales tax from their federal income tax returns. Governor Chris Gregoire signed onto a letter Tuesday asking Congressional leaders to reauthorize the deduction for 2012.

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