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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Governor Likely To Propose Robust Tax Package

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee is likely to propose a more than $1 billion revenue package when he unveils his proposed two-year budget next week.

That’s according to the governor’s budget director who briefed reporters Tuesday at the Capitol.

Washington expects to take in nearly $3 billion more in taxes over the next two years. Even so, the governor’s budget office anticipates a nearly $2.5 billion shortfall. A school funding lawsuit and cost-of-living raises for state and K-12 employees are two big ticket items.

David Schumacher directs the Office of Financial Management. He said Governor Inslee will propose a mix of cuts and revenues to balance the budget -- but revenue will be the bigger piece.

“After seven years of cuts, the ability to get significant amounts of revenue from “efficiencies” is just not there anymore,” Schumacher said.

Schumacher confirmed Inslee’s proposed revenue package could be in the $1 billion range. No details were forthcoming but sources of revenue could include a carbon tax, closing tax exemptions and even a capital gains tax.