"We Don't Have the Votes." —Sales Tax Advocate, Rep. Eric Pettigrew

By Josh Feit April 23, 2009


Rep. Eric Pettigrew: Bummed About the Sales Tax. Happy About the Tunnel.

Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said the idea of an income tax was dead

And now, Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37, S. Seattle), who's sponsoring a sales tax increase to fund health care programs that are being decimated by the budget shortfall, tells PubliCola, "We don't have the votes," acknowledging that his idea—a .3 cent increase—looked dead.

"I'll go back to the speaker to see if there's anything else I can do, but we just don't have the votes."

I also asked Rep. Pettigrew about his controversial vote to saddle Seattle property owners with liability for any cost overruns on the state's Viaduct tunnel. (Pettigrew was one of six Seattle legislators who voted for the amendment to the Viaduct bill last night.)

"I voted to bring down costs," he said in sound-bite mode before actually answering the question.

"I committed to stick with the chair [House Transportation Chair Rep. Judy Clibborn] so we could have a tunnel. And this was part of the agreement."

Pettigrew says he wasn't  uncomfortable with the heavy amendment because he believes it will be derailed by a legal challenge from the City. Paramount for him, he said, "was to move forward on the tunnel. I'm glad we passed this."
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