This Washington

How to Solve the Budget Standoff: Soda Tax

By Josh Feit April 7, 2010

The pop tax that Gov. Christine Gregoire proposed back in February could be the answer to this year's intractable budget fight.

Her idea, which has been ignored by the House and Senate all session as they've tried to agree on a revenue package, would bring in about $96 million.

Well check this out: The main sticking point in the Senate's latest revenue proposal, a 0.1 percent sales tax (which the House hates), is worth $90.3 million.

How about this: Replace the sales tax increase with a soda pop tax increase and finish the session.

I know that the governor met with House and Senate leadership this morning to lay out a new compromise after the latest round flopped. I can't get any details on the meeting—House Finance Chair Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48), for example, gallantly told me he wasn't interested in negotiating in the press—but here's hoping the governor's solution, which has been sitting around for two months, will get a hearing now that the math fits.
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