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The Sales Tax Deduction. Murray vs. Rossi. NerdHour at the Five Point.

By Josh Feit September 28, 2010

As we said this morning in the Fizz, Sen. Patty Murray's spokeswoman and Dino Rossi spokeswoman, Julie Edwards and Jennfier Morris respectively, flood PubliCola's inbox with she-said/she-saids all day long.

The latest (and this one always comes up in That Washington during U.S. Senate election time in This Washington): The sales tax deduction.

The two sides have completely contradictory press releases.

Murray's campaign says:
For Second Time, Rossi’s Republican Allies Block Tax Relief for Washington State Families

Rossi's campaign says:
Washingtonians depending on Senator Murray to protect their paychecks are once again left wondering who he represents

Each side accuses the other of blocking a bill that would have given Washington taxpayers a sales tax deduction on their federal income tax, which saves Washingtonians about $550 annually.

So, who's right?

Both. The Democrats have a bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) that offers a sales tax deduction, a tax credit for biofuels, and tax cuts for small businesses, all paid for, he says, by closing corporate tax loopholes (or with tax increases, as the Rossi camp has it, which was part of the reason Rossi doesn't support it). Sen. Baucus has been shopping the bill for months—and got up to 59 votes, only to have it blocked by the GOP.

Sen. Murray reintroduced it right after senators returned from summer recess this month, but it was shot down again.

Yesterday, Sen. Jon Barrasso (R-Wyoming) offered a stand-alone unanimous consent bill on the sales tax deduction piece. Sen. Baucus objected.

The bill, Murray's camp says, was not fully paid for. The Rossi camp acknowledges that the Barrasso bill—it's actually a Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) bill—wasn't paid for, but they ask why Sen. Murray didn't support a Sen. John Thune (R-SD) version that came up during the Baucus vote that was paid for.

Meanwhile, the Murray camp asks why Rossi hasn't even mentioned the sales tax deduction bill, which again, Baucus and Murray have been pushing for months, until the GOP introduced their version as an amendment this week.

Perhaps Edwards and Morris will settle the disagreement. Over a drink. Tonight at the Five Point in Belltown, where both spokeswomen will be on hand. Be there at five.

Gotta go, there's a press release just in from the Democratic Senatorial Campaing Committe blaring:

And this one just in  from Morris:
Bailouts: Murray Tried To Give Taxpayer Money To Auto Companies
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