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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."

Bottled Water, Oregon Shoppers Remain Tax Free Under Washington Budget

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Sales of bottled water will continue to be untaxed under Washington's next two-year budget.

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

That’s according to a summary released Monday afternoon of the budget deal reached by House Democrats and Senate Republicans over the weekend.

Democrats had proposed to end the sales-tax exemptions for out-of-state shoppers and for bottled water. But in the end, two tax breaks you’ve likely never heard of are getting whacked. One is a machinery and equipment exemption for software manufacturers. Another is a preferential tax rate for royalty income.

The budget deal includes a couple of other wonky revenue generators. The total amount raised from this mini-tax package is projected to be $185 million over the next two years, a far cry from the $1.5 billion tax package Democrats proposed in March.

The budget also extends some expiring tax breaks, something Republicans insisted upon. Overall, the next two year budget would spend $38 billion -- a 13 percent increase over the last two years.